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Major Environmental Disruption Coming Soon to Glover Archbold Park

If you have been in the neighborhood for a few years you might remember a public discussion with DC Water over plans for a major sewer rehabilitation project in Glover Archbold Park along the footpath next to the Foundry Branch stream. Glover Park's stretch runs north-south from Garfield Street down to Reservoir Road. This discussion and comment period occurred back in 2013 with little public communication or input since then. Well, the project might get going rather suddenly late this year or early 2018.

Some background:

The century-old underground sewer pipe directs an average of roughly 3 million gallons of runoff and sewage per day through Glover Archbold Park next to the footpath and the Foundry Branch stream. Anyone who has walked the path and eyed (and smelled) the decrepit sewer system can imagine that it is past its useful life and failing. In fact, DC Water has inspected the line and determined that it needs major rehabilitation or replacement ASAP and is an environmental hazard with so many broken and leaking areas resulting in flooding and groundwater infiltration.

DC Water held discussions and presentations back in 2013 at various Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings. Attached is a presentation used to inform the public back then covering the problem, various possible solutions and potential environmental impact.


DC Water in conjunction with the National Park Service which manages the federal land is preparing to release a new and more detailed Environmental Impact report this summer, followed by a comment period with a firm plan and construction to begin possibly late this year or 2018. The planned 60-day comment period is not scheduled yet, and it is not clear if the public will have more input or if this is simply informational.

The scale of the project is hard to comprehend: replacing 22,000 feet of buried sewer line running through the federal parkland which likely will require removal of hundreds of large trees as well as thousands of smaller trees, the creation of new (possibly permanent) roads into the valley for heavy construction vehicles, some deep excavation of 4 miles of land adjacent to the stream, the relocation or expansion of the footpath, and possibly the building of new above-ground sewer structures. Though no schedule has been proposed so far, one can imagine the park will be disrupted for years to come.

Stay tuned for updates this summer...


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