Thursday, August 02, 2012

response by DC Water's Emmanuel Briggs to the Florida Avenue NW resident

From: Emanuel D. Briggs
Cc:;;; tj quinn ; George S. Hawkins ; Alan R. Heymann ; Tamara Stevenson ; William Pickering
Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2012 10:14 PM
Subject: RE: Bloomingdale Flooding

Greetings Florida Avenue NW resident:
The email sent on July 20 announcing the launch of the Bloomingdale specific web page was in no way intended to antagonize the present matter at hand, and I do apologize if that was seemingly communicated. What DC Water is trying to do is implement a multi-layered program of short-term measures until our Long Term Control Plan is fully realized by way of our completed Clean Rivers Project in 2025. An integral part of our action plan is community education– not simply on the history of flooding in the area, but also on tips that homeowners can follow in helping to protect their homes. We hear your concerns regarding cost, such as that for backflow preventers, and we will have more information to share on our rebate program in the coming weeks.
Regarding catch basin cleanings, I can tell you that we have a normal schedule to clean each of the District’s 25,000 catch basins at least once a year. As part of the normal schedule, the catch basins in your area were cleaned during May-June 2012. In light of the flooding issues in your area, we have committed our resources toward more frequent inspection and/or cleaning of catch basins both before and after anticipated heavy storms. I can certainly check on the status of the two locations you’ve mentioned in your email below with our Command Center and get back to you (in fact, I will do this immediately after pressing “send” on this email message).
As for the packets, these contain the following items: A thoughtful letter from our General Manager, Mr. George Hawkins; Guide to Preventing Sewer Backups And Flooding; copy of our Bloomingdale Action Agenda; and survey post card. It was brought to our attention by Ms. Betsy McDaniel that the even-numbered side in your block was missed, and we have delivered packets to this location as of yesterday afternoon. Although I understand you will not be attending the meeting on Saturday, we will have extra copies of the packets for those who may still need them.
Finally, please understand that DC Water is working diligently to address this issue. At the same time, we understand that this will require a collaborative effort among other District and federal agencies, community representatives and responsive customers such as yourself. We are optimistic that the meeting on Saturday will be a positive information sharing session that will, as you have said, “leave [the community] feeling like things are actually being done that will have an immediate effect on flooding.”
Thanks much for writing us, and please let me know if you have further questions. Also, I will get back to you regarding the catch basins as promised.
image002Emanuel D. Briggs |Manager, Community Outreach, External Affairs | District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority |
5000 Overlook Avenue, SW | Washington, DC 20032 | (202) 787-2003 | (202) 341-7952 (cell) | (202) 787-4122 (fax)


Linwood Norman said...

DC Water has failed to answer many citizens' complaints sent several weeks ago. DC Water's failure and neglect to correct the Bloomingdale situation is a result of its poor management. Our residents do not need any "community education," as indicated in Mr. Brigg's letter, when it comes to the suffering that's the direct results of DC Water's poor management. In addition to not improving capacity of the sewer drains, DC Water thinks that cleaning them out ONCE A YEAR is adequate?

BCC said...

Agreed. I'd also like to know how it is that the water utility of a relatively poor city like Louisville KY can manage to retro-fit backflow valves at its own expense. Yet, DC which has been sitting on a budget surplus can't manage to do the same for a few blocks, less than 2 miles from the Capitol.

Pathetic, is the word that comes to mind. That and "unsatisfactory."