WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

D.C. Breaks Ground On $2.6 Billion Sewage Tunnel

Play associated audio
D.C. is putting $2.6 billion into the construction of a new sewage tunnel that would reduce overflow in the District by 96 percent.
Jessica Gould
D.C. is putting $2.6 billion into the construction of a new sewage tunnel that would reduce overflow in the District by 96 percent.

The District is kicking off its largest construction project since the building of Metro, but it's not moving people, it's moving waste. The $2.6 billion project seeks to reduce sewage overflow into the Anacostia River, Potomac River and Rock Creek by as much as 96 percent by installing an enormous underground tunnel to treat wastewater.

The current system, called a combined sewer, dumps 2.5 billion gallons into area waterways every year, combining rain with sewage overflow. This creates problems for humans as much as other living organisms unfortunate enough to be living in area rivers.

"The sewer pipe has an intake that's stormwater right off the street," explains George Hawkins, the general manager of D.C. Water. "And sewage comes from a building. When that pipe fills, it allows overflow so that there’s some space so that it doesn’t come back into people’s basements or back into the streets. That overflow now goes into the river."

So, several years ago, the federal government required D.C. Water to fix the problem. The project they broke ground on today is the size of a Metro tunnel, and allows the city to treat and cleanse the water before it is released into the Potomac and the Chesapeake.

The project is scheduled to be finished by 2025.

NPR

Shante, He Stays: RuPaul Reflects On Decades Of Drag — And 2 Emmy Nominations

RuPaul is the most recognizable drag queen in America. His hit show, RuPaul's Drag Race is up for two Emmy Awards as it begins filming its ninth season. But drag, he says, will never be mainstream.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
WAMU 88.5

Friday News Roundup - International

Italy searches for survivors after a devastating earthquake. Turkey escalates its role in the fight against ISIS. And Colombia and the FARC rebels sign a peace treaty ending a half-century-long guerrilla war. A panel of journalists joins guest host Derek McGinty for analysis of the week's top international news stories.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.