WSSC, U.S. EPA Celebrate Start of D.C. Area Sewer Rehab Project

January 2010 Vol. 65 No. 1

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) kicked off a landmark rehabilitation project Jan. 7, marking the first time WSSC has been awarded federal funding for a reconstruction project through the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Earlier this year, a $6 million dollar grant was awarded to WSSC by MDE as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant is being used in sewer infrastructure renewal in the Lower Anacostia area of Prince George’s County.

U.S. EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter Silva, U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, WSSC General Manager Jerry N. Johnson, Anacostia Watershed Society Executive Director Jim Connolly and other area leaders joined together at WSSC’s headquarters in Laurel to launch the project. The effort aims to rehabilitate 22,000 linear feet of sewer mains and laterals in portions of Bladensburg, Hyattsville, Brentwood, Cheverly, Colmar Manor, Landover Hills and Mount Rainer, Maryland. The WSSC estimates that the project will provide 65 additional jobs to the region.

“This project is a perfect example of Recovery Act funding at work – not only will WSSC be able to make much needed improvements to our community’s infrastructure, but it will infuse money into the economy and help keep Marylanders in their jobs,” said Congressman Van Hollen, co-chairman of the bipartisan Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus and co-chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force.

Internal pipeline inspections in the project area indicated the sewer mains and laterals are deteriorating and that the number of sewer backups and overflows has increased. Some of the mains in the area are nearly 90 years old.

The project is slated for completion by December 2010.