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  • saf

    It’s winter. They usually drain the canal in winter.

    • FridayGirl

      +1000. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it without water more often than not.

    • Maggie

      Yes, and the canal is also drained in advance of storms that are expected to produce a lot of precipitation, like the rain we got last week.

  • Josh

    I actually don’t know much about the canal — how do they drain and fill it? Is there some sort of damn? Just curious.

    • B’dale Res

      There is a lock system to control the water levels.

  • Amber

    They’ve drained it every winter that I worked in Georgetown – the last 15 years. I think sometimes they pick up the trash that’s in there, but I assume it’s probably to keep expanding ice from hurting the wooden locks — I’ve seen the Potomac covered in ice many times, and since the canal is very shallow and slower moving, it would probably freeze even more (and was probably less of a concern back in ye olden days, when boats were regularly using the canal).

  • Mud Boots

    When I was a teenager walking around the empty canal was a lot of fun, but the mud can be knee deep or deeper. There are portions of the canal far upstream that don’t appear to get drained seasonly and others that are broken and can no longer hold water.


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