What We Do

Bloomingdale/LeDroit Park Action Agenda

Updated September 18, 2012

The following is a list of steps DC Water, the community, and other parts of the government are taking or can take to reduce the effects of flooding in Bloomingdale, LeDroit Park and the surrounding area. DC Water's Clean Rivers Project will resolve the sewer capacity issue on a long-term basis beginning in 2025, but the steps on this agenda will help in the interim.

What DC Water is doing right now.

  1. Catch basin cleanings. We have heard the community's call for more frequent inspection and cleaning of catch basins before and after storms. You will see our crews doing this more often.
  2. Sewer inspection. We are conducting a CCTV (robotic camera) inspection of the sewers serving the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park areas to identify and eliminate possible obstructions. This was last done in 2006. When safe, we are also sending teams into the sewers for visual inspections.
  3. Collecting information and communicating.
  4. a. We have established an email address at bloomingdale@dcwater.com and hotline at (202) 787-2688 for questions.

    b. We have launched a web page at dcwater.com/bloomingdale , which contains background information, links, a survey for residents of the area and information about our programs for property owners.

    c. We sent a postcard survey to every home in the affected area and continue to receive responses.

    d. We sent a letter detailing the history of the problem, our long-term solution, and these interim steps, to every home in the affected area.

    e. We are responding to every customer who has contacted us with a concern by phone, email or Twitter.

    f. We attended a special meeting of the Bloomingdale Civic Association on Saturday, August 4.

    g. DC Water General Manager George Hawkins is co-chairing the Mayor's Task Force on Bloomingdale flooding.

  5. Assisting in preparation. We are coordinating with the Department of Public Works to help make sandbag distribution possible in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park when storms are predicted.
  6. Offering a backflow preventer rebate program.
  7. Providing consulting services. We have retained an engineering consulting firm to provide advice to our customers, at no charge, about steps they can take in their own homes to reduce flooding.
  8. Offering a rain barrel and cistern program through the District Department of the Environment.

What DC Water is exploring.

  1. Regulatory changes. We are examining our regulations to see whether we can:
  2. a. Require backflow preventers to be installed in new properties or at turnover.

    b. Issue a moratorium on new sewer connections to the Northeast Boundary Trunk Sewer.

  3. Inter-agency coordination. We will consult with other District agencies, including DDOT and DDOE, to determine whether:
  4. a. The location and placement of catch basins in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park areas is adequate.

    b. The neighborhood might be a suitable test site for green technologies that retain stormwater, such as porous pavement.

    c. Rhode Island and Florida Avenues can be closed during flooding events to prevent stranded cars and vehicles splashing water over nearby curbs.

  5. Medium-term engineering solutions. We have a team of engineers exploring whether we can quickly:
  6. a. Capture and retain stormwater in large quantities to prevent it from reaching Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park.

    b. Divert some of the flow from the Northeast Boundary Trunk Sewer elsewhere during heavy rains.

What residents can do.

  1. Install a backflow preventer. This is a plumbing device that will keep sewage from backing up during a storm. Save your documentation, as our rebate program may cover recent installations as well as future ones.
  2. Consider a physical barrier, such as a raised curb or stair, or flood gate on your door, to prevent overland flooding from coming into your home.
  3. Review our guide to preventing sewer backups and flooding, available on our website or by calling (202) 787-2200.
  4. Contact your insurance company about a rider covering sewer backups.
  5. Check your gutters, downspouts and outdoor drains to eliminate clogs.
  6. Limit washing machine, shower and dishwasher use during heavy storms.
  7. Fill out our survey, which we have sent to your home and is available at bit.ly/bdalesurvey , to help us determine the scope of the flooding problem.
  8. Call us at (202) 612-3400 to report flooding, or (202) 787-2688 with general questions.
  9. Send us your questions at bloomingdale@dcwater.com.

What We Do