Water Watchdog Report

What: Cloudy Water
Where: Left bank (facing downstream) of Sligo Creek at Ellsworth and Sligo Creek Parkway outfall
When: 2014-09-10 at 11:50 AM
Reported By: Anne Vorce
Additional Details:

Yuk! I saw pollution in Sligo Creek along the Sligo Creek Parkway (Trail), just below Colesville Road, flowing past the Bennington Tributary, Three Oaks and Schuyler, heading downstream to the Anacostia, The Creek may still be polluted.

I tracked down the “source”. The pollution was coming out of the small outfall on the south side of Sligo Creek Parkway at Ellsworth Drive near the picnic area at the corner of SCParkway and Colesville.

This outfall drains the small group of houses on the north side of SCParkway across from (unmarked) Ellsworth Drive, between Colesville Drive and Worth Drive. The outfll may also drain the houses on Hamilton. The outfall’s tributary continues for some 15-20 feet before emptying into Sligo Creek, just above the first bridge below Colesville Road and then the Bennington Tributary.

The pollution was chalky grayish or brown, no bubbles or foam, no apparent smell.

Was this a latex paint dump ? If so, alot was put into our water supply.

I walked the usual surface water drainage path down from Ellsworth and Hamilton to the Creek. No obvious sign of source was outside. I didn’t go on Colesville.

Does anyone know of a possible project or problem that may have caused the pollution? If so, please let Steve Martin know. He is the head of the pollution detectives at the Department of Environmental Protection.

Just send Steve am email through the Water WatchDog email address: ReportPollution – fosc.org.

One photo shows the outfall.
Another photo shows the pollution flows into Sligo Creek.

Franklin Avenue Water Main Break is Source of September 10th Sligo Creek pollution, DEP says

DEP Pollution Detective Dan McCann from Steve Martin’s team tracked down the cause of yesterday’s Sligo Creek pollution, coming out of the outfall at Ellsworth Drive and Sligo Creek Parkway (Trail).

Dan wrote: “I have traced the issue to a water main break at 315 Franklin Ave. I have called WSSC and they will be sending a crew shortly.”

Jean Cavanaugh then asked why is there discoloration in the Creek, if we are dealing with a water main break. Dan replied:

“As the water bubbles up out of the ground it picks up all the mud/clay along the way and carries it to the storm drain which ultimately ends up in Sligo Creek. It’s a good amount of water flowing. The crew should be here shortly to stop the flow of water.”

Steve Martin, the head of the water detective team at DEP. added,

“The likely source if failing infrastructure (pipe). The discharge could have flowed for some distance under the street through a layer of gravel, which could have caused the gray color. The chlorination is to drinking water standards, which is less than swimming pool standards, but still not good for aquatic critters in the stream.”