Processing Magazine

DC Water breaks ground on $2.6 billion Clean Rivers Project

October 13, 2011
WASHINGTON — The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) broke ground Wednesday on its largest construction project ever, and the District’s largest since Metro was built, according to a press release.

The $2.6 billion Clean Rivers Project aims to nearly eliminate combined sewer overflows to the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Rock Creek, also improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay.

The project consists of massive underground tunnels to store the combined sewage during rain events, releasing it to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant after the storms subside.

“There can be no overestimating the scale of this project — it’s absolutely huge,” said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. “The machine our teams will use to build these tunnels is the size of a football field, and needs to be assembled in pieces underground. And because of this work, no single institution is doing more than ours to improve the District’s waterways.”