Saturday, August 11, 2012

DC Water announces: 1) backflow preventer program, 2) engineering consulting services

See this Email from yesterday from DC Water's Emanuel Briggs (color bolding is mine, not his).  What say Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park residents?

From: Emanuel D. Briggs < >
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2012 3:17 PM
Subject: Bloomingdale/LeDroit Park Update


Please read the below letter from our General Manager, Mr. George Hawkins:

Bloomingdale/LeDroit Park Update – August 10, 2012

Dear Customers,

I want to update you about some important progress we’re making on our Bloomingdale Action Agenda, which we announced as a series of interim steps to prevent or mitigate the flooding problems in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. You have probably seen our contractors conducting closed-circuit television inspections of the sewers in your neighborhood. We will continue this work as we look for blockages or defects in the sewers. We have also continued coordinating with the DC Department of Public Works on distribution of sandbags. Our goal is for each resident who wants sandbags to have them shortly, independently of any predicted rain events.

To further tackle the flooding issues, I have tasked our Department of Engineering and Technical Services with exploring every potential solution. We will be prepared to lay these solutions out, along with their benefits and drawbacks, in the weeks to come. I am optimistic that more can be done while we await the completion of the Clean Rivers Project in 2025 or shortly sooner.

Meanwhile, the two homeowner assistance programs we announced as part of the Action Agenda, the backflow preventer rebate program and engineering consulting services, are ready to begin.

Backflow Preventer Rebate Program
DC Water will rebate up to 90 percent of the cost of the purchase and installation of one of these devices, up to a maximum of $3,000 and retroactive to July 1, 2012. To receive the rebate, the property owner will need to provide us a proof of purchase and an itemized receipt and proof of payment for a DC-licensed plumber. The owner will also need to sign a statement allowing for inspection of the installed device by an agent of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). We will mail a rebate form and instructions to every address in the eligible area and post these to our website next week. We anticipate beginning to mail rebate checks by mid-September.

DC Water will also conduct two community workshops about backflow preventers in late August, in conjunction with the Backflow Prevention Institute and the Bloomingdale Civic Association.

Engineering Consulting Services
DC Water has retained the engineering firm Malcolm Pirnie, to provide consulting services to residents in Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park. The consultants will detail possible causes and provide recommendations to prevent overland flooding, based on an inspection of the outside of the home.

Consultations will begin in mid-August at no charge to the homeowner. They will take approximately 90 minutes, and appointments will be available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

DC Water is beginning this process by reaching back out to residents who have already contacted us about flooding issues. You may also call Customer Service at (202) 354-3600 if you would like to make an appointment.

Along with City Administrator Allen Lew, who is a member of the DC Water Board of Directors, I am co-chairing the Mayor’s task force on flooding in Bloomingdale. These historic issues will take inter-agency cooperation and expertise to resolve. I will continue to report back to you on the activities and findings of the task force. We will post updates regularly on all of these initiatives at .

George S. Hawkins


Bloomingdale.Rowhouse said...

Would someone please recommend a specific backflow preventer (BFP) model type? During the August 4 Bloomingdale Civic Association meeting, DC Water's George Hawkins mentioned that some BFPs performed better than others. Also, what is the estimated price of a BFP? And estimated cost for the installation?


Jeremy said...

This is the one that was put on my place - it has also been put on a bunch of other houses in the area. The plumber I used has been around installing on many houses.

jbcarron said...

Any idea on cost of installation?

Linwood Norman said...

'BEWARE' to those getting a backflow diverter -- it does help (I have one), but there are some other issues to deal with. The diverter will not completely take care of your flooding if you have an outdoor drain at the front or back of your house. The backflow diverter stops water from flowing out and I, for one, am now faced with spending a princely sum to install an elaborate sump pump system to totally take care of the drain water. DC Water should also step to reimburse for that, BTW.

Unknown said...

A DCWater employee told me today that the two workshops on backflow preventers have been scheduled, but they have not been posted on their web page. When asked about the dates, their twitter feed said -They will be in early September, one wknd and one eve, in conjunction with the civic assn. Please stay tuned.

Hopefully, these workshops will educate homeowners so they can deal with plumbers and basement waterproofing specialists, and understand the pros and cons of where to locate a backflow preventer, and whether you need to install a sump pump, as well.

Linwood - I am using the flood lock on my out side drains. However, a plumber told my neighbor that they cannot withstand a high pressure backflow. Only time will tell if mine work. They didn't seem to kick in during last Thursday's heavy rain, so they still have not been tested.

Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

So what is a "flood lock" ?

Unknown said...

Scott - Are you on the flood google group? I posted my experience with the two different types on there. They close the drain to prevent backflow in a floor drain (in a utility closet or at the basement door well). The float type is in the new PDF guide on the DCWater Bloomingdale page. There is also one without a float, but it does not allow drainage so it cannot be permanently installed inside.

Unknown said...

Here is a link to the PDF guide, that has the floor drain plug, and other info. They gave me a copy today when I had my consultation. I believe it is new, but it is not dated.

This is the guide with info about the backflow preventer. This is the same guide that they had at both BCA meetings.