Dear PoP – Props to DC Water crew and useful sewer info

Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoP,

Typically, DC residents have a dim view of the effectiveness and attitudes of DC govt and utility workers. However, I wanted to drop a line saying “job well done” for a DC WASA crew that came out to our house in Columbia Heights last night.

The story goes like this: last night we had our second sewer blockage in a week. Last week the whole house was blocked up and we called a plumber to come out and fix it. It was messy, to say the least. The plumber determined the blockage was at the sewer, off our property line. They fixed it and it cost a bit of money because it was a big job. But afterwards they told me that in the future if the problem occurs again (at the sewer, not on our property) then DC Water will come out and fix any subsequent blockages for free. Basically, the first time the sewer blocks up, plumbers fix it and submit a ‘sewer report’ to the city, and then if it happens again, then it is DC Water’s responsibility. I would never have known this had my plumber not told me.

So, anyways, last night, apparently the block came back (who knows why) and I called my plumber and he immediately called DC Water and then told me that they should be out that same night. I was skeptical, to say the least. Well, sure enough, within an hour, two big trucks come rumbling up to our house. We talk, I tell them what’s up, they look at the drains, and then put some large hoses down the access pipe and clear-out pipe in front of our house. Kafloosh, the whole darned thing is cleared out and fixed within a few minutes. Problem solved.

And the guys who came out were totally professional and effective. So I am letting you know because I wanted to recognize their work, not just because the utility and DC govt folks often get crapped on, but also because these guys have an especially gross job with pretty bad hours. But they were good natured, helpful, explained everything and best of all fixed it all within a few minutes late at night. And, although I sent a ‘job well done’ to DC water itself, I think it’s important for the larger community to know as well.

So, kudos to the DC Water sewer emergency crew! They turned what I feared was going to be a nightmare into just a minor inconvenience.

Ps: Steve Miller plumbing, in Maryland, deserves an ‘atta boy’ as well. He really helped us out, and we never would have known that DC water clears sewage blocks for homes on short notice and for free if he hadn’t told us. Also, his folks were very professional, quick, and effective as well. I strongly recommend them.”

11 Comment

  • Great post.It’s nice to see people treating each other with care and respect. And, as a former tradesman, it’s great to see some in a trade stepping up and doing the right thing.

  • That sounds like the opposite of every one of the many experiences I’ve had with DCWater. Actually, I’m in the process of filling out a $5,000 damage report form to send to them that covers the last five or so incidents of their incompetence.

  • jburka

    WASA seems to be on a roll. We recently got an e-mail (with charts ‘n figures!) that our water usage had been extremely high for a few days and suggesting that we check our plumbing.

    In fact, our hot water heater, which wasn’t particularly new when we bought the house 9 years ago, had sprung a leak. While a replacement wasn’t cheap, it was a heck of a lot cheaper than if we hadn’t found out about the leak and done something immediately!

  • WASA did a great job for me as well. What is the plumber Steve Miller’s contact information?

  • In the previous city — it is automatically the water co’s responsibility if the blockage is not on your property. No personal plumber should be fixing that. I’d be surprised if that isn’t the case here too.

  • I also had a great experience, exactly like this, with WASA. They showed up promptly, were cheerful and courteous, got the job done, and even cleaned up after themselves– even though it was freezing and raining out. Best DC public service I’ve encountered.

  • I had the same experience as the original poster and WDC. Absolutely professional, pleasant, and efficient.

  • I don’t think the technicians have ever been the problem, it’s the shenanigans of the appointees who run the offices that cause the most grief. Fix that, and we might have a full functioning water system under our feet.

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