Project to Reduce Sewer Odors in Carderock Recreation Area Slated to Begin May 2017

April 7, 2017
For Immediate Release

Project to Reduce Sewer Odors in Carderock Recreation Area Slated to Begin May 2017

In recent months, visitors to the Carderock Recreation Area picnic pavilion have experienced more than just a game of horseshoes and majestic views of the Potomac River. Unpleasant odors emanating from an adjacent sanitary sewer chamber are taking the fun out of picnicking. This problem will be resolved by the end of 2017 after Fairfax County's Department of Public Works and Environmental Services rehabilitates the 1960s-era chamber and upgrades the equipment.

The chamber, which is 10-foot by 14-foot and approximately 11 feet deep, is part of the region's vast network of wastewater management facilities. Wastewater conveyed from Fairfax County to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C. passes through the chamber.

The proposed improvements include replacing the sluice gates, access hatches, and ladder, and recoating the chamber's interior surfaces. A new odor control structure to be installed later this year will significantly reduce or eliminate odors that are currently released from the chamber. To maintain the safety of recreation area users, a temporary security fence will be installed around the site prior to construction.

Minimal land disturbance is planned because most of the work will occur inside the existing chamber, and the National Park Service's special use permit states that all disturbed areas must be re-vegetated. The Carderock Recreation Area is part of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, which is owned by the National Park Service. The permit is required for all construction projects conducted on or over park property to ensure resources are protected and the purpose of the park is preserved.

Work is expected to begin in May and will be completed by CDCI, Inc., of Rockville, MD. The cost to rehabilitate the chamber is approximately $547,000, and will be paid for by Fairfax County's sewer construction fund.

During construction, the release of odors from the chamber may increase temporarily. Completion of the improvements is expected to greatly enhance the enjoyment of the recreation area.

Project to Reduce Sewer Odors in Carderock Recreation Area Slated to Begin May 2017


Contact: Matthew Kaiser, Public Information Officer 
Department of Public Works and Environmental Services 
703-324-8455, TTY 711


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