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Posted at 1:55 PM ET, 10/22/2010

Arlington lifts sewage advisory

By Anne Bartlett

Arlington County has lifted an Oct. 15 advisory to avoid contact with the water in the Upper Long Branch Stream from the Long Branch Nature Center through the Four Mile Run to the Potomac River. The advisory was issued after sewage was released into the Upper Long Branch due to a blockage in the sewer line.

The blockage was removed and the release stopped early on the morning of Oct. 16. Officials could not immediately provide an estimate of how much sewage was released.

The county's advisory was a precaution to notify residents to avoid contact with the water downstream from the spill site, a statement said. Bacteria levels in the water are potentially higher after a release.

UPDATE, 3:30 p.m.:

Approximately 8,580 gallons of sewage were released during the repair operations, said officials from Arlington's Department of Environmental Services.

"As sewage leakage goes, this is fairly small," said Robert Mace, Arlington's water, sewer and streets bureau chief.

The advisory was originally issued last week after a sewage leak was discovered around 6 p.m. on Oct. 15. Roots had penetrated the sanitary sewer line and debris had caused additional backup, leading to the overflow. The blockage was removed and the release stopped by 3:40 a.m. on Oct. 16, Mace said.

Officials waited a full week to lift the advisory to allow the system to flush, said Jason Papacosma, watershed programs manager.

Residents are asked to follow the regular stream precautions for the two waterways, such as not drinking or swimming in the water.

-- Christy Goodman

By Anne Bartlett  | October 22, 2010; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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