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Why A Plan To Keep Sewage Out Of The Potomac Was On The Chopping Block

Feb 24, 2020
https://wamu.org/story/20/02/20/why-a-plan-to-keep-sewage-out-of-the-potomac-was-on-the-chopping-block/

D.C. has been making progress cleaning up the Anacostia and Potomac rivers, to the point where those long-polluted waterways could soon be safe to swim in. But recently, management at D.C.’s water and sewer authority has been considering scrapping a major part of the cleanup project, potentially continuing to dump more than 600 million gallons of sewage into the Potomac each year, for years to come.

The court-mandated project is known as Clean Rivers, and it’s one of the biggest — and priciest — infrastructure projects in the city since Metro was built. It consists of 18 miles of tunnels; they’re wider than Metro tunnels, and deeper underground. The whole project has a price tag of $2.7 billion. The vast majority of that is being paid for by residents with a Clean Rivers fee — currently $21 a month (about a fifth of the average residential water bill).

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