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Families Displaced by Sewer Line Break

Construction Accident Causes Damage, Inconvenience

Twenty Alexandria families spent two nights in local hotels after a construction accident left them without sewer or water services.

The accident occurred on Saturday, June 8, when a bucket from a piece of construction equipment fell onto a water main in the 600 block of S. Payne Street. The 45-year-old water main broke, causing water to spout from the main into the air and to fill the construction site with water.

Dirt then began to fall from around the site, causing a nearby 50-year-old sewer main to crack. Sewage and water were both released into the hole, causing sewage to back up into at least 10 homes in the neighborhood. Water and sewer services were interrupted on Monday, June 10.

THE CONSTRUCTION is part of a $13 million trunk sewer project that will support new development at Potomac Yard and that will also accommodate overflow sewer capacity from the Four Mile Run pump station. The water main was a six-inch main and the sewer main was a 12-inch main.

“We have been very pleased with the response of Crescent Resources,” said Richard Baier, the city’s director of Transportation and Environmental Services. “They have assured us that they will take full responsibility for all damages that occurred as a result of this unfortunate accident.”

Robert Zeiller, the Potomac Yard Infrastructure Project Manager for Crescent, agreed. “We made certain that everyone had accommodations in a hotel for Monday night and two people will remain in a hotel on Tuesday night,” he said. “We have restored sewer services to all of the homes and have restored water but the water cannot be ingested for at least 24 hours until bacteriological testing can be completed. Because of this, we have made certain that all residents of the neighborhood have bottled water for cooking and drinking. We will work with all of the neighbors to make sure that the damage to their homes is assessed and that they are appropriately compensated.”

Damage came from sewer water that backed up into the basements of the townhouses that are closest to the sewer main break. The sewer project will continue for the next six months, from Fayette and Henry Street all the way to the Waste Water treatment plant off Jefferson Street.