Water Watchdog Report

What: Muddy Water
Where: A water main break on Dale Drive is sending a huge volume of brown water through Bennington tributary and then on to Sligo Creek
When: 2014-11-03
Reported By: William Shaw
Additional Details:

November 3, 2014
A water main break on Dale Drive is sending a huge volume of brown water through Bennington tributary and then on to Sligo Creek

November 4, 2014
The corner of Dale and Ellsworth was a lake yesterday afternoon, I understand. Water roared into the Bennington Tributary and thus into Sligo Creek. Of course, the water was chlorinated, which is not good for the aquatic life we are trying to restore and protect in the Creek. Moreover, the Bennington Tributary and, it appears, Sligo Creek, are exceedingly silted today. Alot of silt will end of washing down to the Anacostia, although there is plenty parked up near the source on the Bennington Tributary. I heard that a neighbor’s basement was taking in water. As of 8am this morning, the roads were very muddy – which can be slippery to cars, human beings and animals. Mud will also wash into the creek from the roads, if not properly cleaned, and further silt it. What is reported as a recently appeared sinkhole on Ellsworth opened up more. (Actually, describing this as a “sinkhole” is probably not accurate. I understand from neighborhood sources that that is where the old Ellsworth Creek ran before it was buried until it emptied into the Bennington Tributary; and, according to a stormwater expert hired by DEP, stormdrains run through that spot.)

November 9, 2014
Tuesday was the aftermath of the water main break at Dale and Kingsbury. Water poured down Dale, poured into the hole being dug by Deneau to rehab the sewer main (funded by EYA to handle the Chelsea project, WSSC to inspect) and roared down Ellsworth, where the only stormdrain on the block could not handle the volume and velocity (bales of hay were also involved. as they were in front of that stormdrain since the previous Friday in an attempt to filter the polluted water that Deneau had sent into the Creek the previous week after the noreaster had filled their construction hole and they pumped it out without stormwater protection. Apparently DPS (or WSSC) did not require the nearby stormdrain that feeds right into the Bennington Tributary to have any stormwater protection. Plus, right after the noreaster, a hole appeared behind the stormdrain. This is the spot where the outfall pipe coming down from the CBD splits into two, which we see nearby at the Bennington Outfall. DOT had filled back in the hole but apparently had not tested it. Tunrs out, after the water main flood, we found via a camera I believe that there was a problem at the split. But, the broken water main sent water gushing over the filled in hole and it collapsed, creating an amazing vortex that sucked in all the water coming down Ellsworth. We on Bennington didn’t see any water at all – odd, we always do. The people living next door found their cars damaged when they returned later that Monday, before election Day. It may be irrelevant and coincidence but the Chelsea project sent what has been described by a neighbor as a river of silt down Springvale during the Noreaster. Maybe the silt stressed the aging stormdrains.

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