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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
Communications & Public Information
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Page updated Oct 18, 2011 4:35 PM
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Holmes Run Sewage Spill Update: Alexandria Lifts Holmes Run Sewage Advisory

The City of Alexandria has lifted a precautionary advisory to waters in Holmes Run.  The advisory, caused by a sewage spill near the intersection of Holmes Run Parkway and North Paxton Street (approximately 300 yards upstream of the Beatley pedestrian bridge), originally advised residents to avoid direct contact with the waters of Holmes Run, downstream of the Ripley Street fair weather crossing.

On October 8, City staff began working with Fairfax County, to install temporary sewer bypasses. These bypasses, which consist of several pumps, were successfully installed around the broken sewer pipe.  Due to a sufficient length of time that has elapsed since the bypasses were first installed, in combination with recent rainfall, the advisory has been lifted.

City staff, in coordination with Fairfax County, are continuing to develop and implement permanent repairs. While permanent repairs are completed, residents will continue to see temporary bypasses and pumps being maintained.  In response to noise concerns, the City has used the quietest pumps available, in efforts to minimize noise impacts.


Holmes Run Sewage Spill Update: Spill Contained, Sewer Repairs Ongoing

Residents are advised to continue to avoid any direct contact with waters in Holmes Run downstream of the Ripley Street fair weather crossing in the City of Alexandria.  A portion of the bike trail on the north side of Brooke Valley Park has been closed due to the spill and emergency construction now taking place on site; however, trail riders may use Holmes Run Parkway.  The City and Fairfax County are working jointly to address the two broken sewer pipes identified on Friday, October 7.  The spill is currently contained; however, repairs on the broken sewer pipes will be ongoing.

City staff is currently working with Fairfax County to coordinate permanent repairs.  The cause of the sewer pipe breaks is still undetermined.

City crews are erecting a temporary sound barrier on site to mitigate noise created by the pumps, which were needed in order to prevent additional sewage from spilling into Holmes Run. Within 2-3 days, the on-site pumps will be replaced with quieter pumps.

For additional information, contact the Department of Transportation & Environmental Services at 703.746.4025.


Alexandria Residents Cautioned to Avoid Holmes Run

Residents are advised to avoid direct contact with waters in Holmes Run downstream of the Ripley Street fair weather crossing in the City of Alexandria until further notice.  It has been determined that there are two sanitary sewer lines damaged within Holmes Run: one owned by the City of Alexandria, and the other owned by Fairfax County.  Crews from both Fairfax and the City of Alexandria are working jointly to contain and remedy the spill.  It is estimated that the active spill will be contained within 36 to 48 hours.  Repairs on the broken pipes are expected to take 3 to 6 weeks. 

For additional information, contact the Office of Environmental Quality at 703.746.4065.