Drinking water news:D.C. Neighborhood stinks in the name of progress.

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Drinking water news:

D.C. Neighborhood stinks in the name of progress.

Save the Water™ does not represent or endorse the postings herein or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information furnished by the author.

Wednesday -8/24/2011,6:35pm ETDrinking water(WTOP Photo/Neal Augenstein)
Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

Correction: Earlier, WTOP reported human waste was included in the Dalecarlia basin.

Those products are filtered at the Blue Plains Water Treatment Plant. The sulfur-smelling sediment at Dalecarlia is limited to decaying leaves and algae.

WASHINGTON– If you’ve been in the far west corner of theDistrict of Columbialately, you know it smells like … well, poop.

The Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant, on MacArthur Boulevardin Northwest, is draining and cleaning one of its sedimentation basins, which means months of decaying algae and other organic matter smells more than ripe.

“When you expose it to air, you get a bit of an odor,” Tom Jacobus, of the Washington Aqueduct, understates.

Several plant employees, in hardhats and wader boots, are standing thigh-deep in the fragrant muck, hosing the residuals of the water treatment plant process from the huge basins that are normally filled with water.

Take a look at the scene here:

The gunk heads back to the Potomac River — but not for long.

“The process we’re going through now is going to be one of the last times we discharge into the Potomac River,” says Jacobus.

“In the future, starting in late Fall, we’ve installed equipment to continuously remove the sediment from these basins and it will piped to a facility we’ve built behind Sibley Hospital.”

“The material will be thickened, centrifuged, and shipped off in trucks for land application,” Jacobus says.

Jacobus says the current stink should be gone in the next day, and there may be a few more discharges during the transition to the new process.

“People in the neighborhood have been very understanding” says Jacobus.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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