People warned to stay back after sewage leak at Arlington’s Four Mile Run

An unknown volume of sewage water leaked into Arlington, Virginia’s Four Mile Run, near 7th Street South, before it was stopped Monday morning.

The problem was first detected Sunday night, and people are being warned to keep themselves and their pets away from the water south of the leakage, until further notice.

The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services could not estimate the size of the leak from the sanitary sewer pipe, which carries waste from homes and businesses.

Monday morning work crews found the leak was caused by rocks someone had put in place, according to a county spokesman.

“They got in there and they noticed there were rocks down in this manhole that shouldn’t have been there. Apparently someone or some people put these rocks down there and that was blocking the flow and it was coming out of the manhole,” said Pete Golkin, spokesman for the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

Golkin said the crew removed the rocks and sealed the manhole.

“We’re expecting rain in the next few days so that will help clear things out. Generally, you want to wait at least 72 hours with discharge like this,” said Golkin. “It appears to be some people, maybe kids, just sort of messing around and as a result it made kind of a mess,” he said.

Four Mile Run is a 9.2-mile-long tributary of the Potomac River. It flows from Fairfax south through Arlington and Alexandria.

 

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