WASHINGTON – A portion of the Capital Crescent Trail is closed again because of a suspected sewage spill.
Heavy rains caused untreated sanitary sewage to spill into the Potomac River and possibly over part of the trail and into the C&O Canal overnight.
DC Water is investigating whether there was a spill on the trail and what could have caused the sewage release. During heavy rain events, sewage is typically released into the river, not the canal or trail.
The National Park Service says the trail is closed from Fletchers Cove into Georgetown at Water Street, the same section that was closed earlier this month due to contaminated flood waters.
“It is important to keep in mind that (river) water levels in our area aren’t expected to peak until (Saturday) afternoon,” says service spokeswoman Jenny Anzelmo.
The Potomac River is expected to crest at 10 feet Saturday afternoon and river-users should to take precautions before entering the water, she says.
The C&O Tow Path could be used as alternate to the trail, however the tow path tends to flood and may not be accessible.
DC Water has a $2.6 billion project that will increase capacity within its combined sewer system, which acts as both a storm drain and a sewer pipe. Giant storage tunnels are also planned to hold runoff and avoid releasing raw sewage into the river when it rains.
Sewage overflow reported in Damascus
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission says that some sewage was released from a manhole cover in the area of Kings Valley Road in Damascus Friday morning. The nearby pumping station was overwhelmed by the intense rain
Some of the sewage entered the Little Bennnett Creek, which is part of the Monocacy River basin.
About 45,000 gallons were released.