Washington, DC

A reader passes on a letter she sent to Council Member Brandon Todd and DC Water:

“My neighbors and I have just cleaned the THIRD sewage back flow surge from our basements in the last 13 months!

This is absolutely devastating! Something needs to be done to update the infrastructure of the sewage lines to accommodate the demands on the system. The massive amounts of rain we’ve experienced is too much for the system to bear and unfortunately, we are at the bottom of a hill — receiving everyone else’s waste in our home. It’s not our responsibility to upgrade and snake our drains when everyone in our neighborhood has back flow problems. This is a city issue and it needs to be resolved.

You have a neighborhood with 70+ year-olds wading through raw sewage and cleaning out their basements alone because no-one has coverage anymore to help (nor can we afford to continually pay insurance co-pays and additional expenses to cover remediation costs).

We’ve filed claims through DC Water and they’ve been denied. We’ve tried to install back flow valves but they’re unaffordable (given we lost so much money re-building our property many times and trying to prevent mold from growing and making us all sick). We also cannot install a back flow valve on one house and push that much more shit into our neighbors homes. It’s absolutely disgusting and frustrating. Not to mention, sickening (literally we’re getting sick!!!).

You need to step it up and deal with this problem. We demand DC Water install back flow valves on all our homes to immediately quell the issue we’re facing. We demand restitution for the thousands of dollars we’ve lost rebuilding, lost income from rentals, lost health from sickness, etc. Then we demand you take action to put larger pipes into our neighborhood to ease the excess burden of all this crazy weather — or better yet, install separate pipes for rainwater drainage!

We’re fed up!”


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