Cabin John Sewer Basin Study

Fact Sheet

WHAT

  • The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has launched a massive investigation in 2003 to analyze the Cabin John sewer basin.
  • Using state-of-the-art technology, WSSC is capturing data on rainfall, wastewater flows, the conditions of pipes and manholes and areas where sewer mains have become exposed due to erosion in creeks and streambeds.
  • WSSC is also reviewing growth patterns to develop plans to meet future wastewater needs.
  • The $5 million contract was awarded to URS Corporation, of Baltimore, MD.

View the map of Cabin John Sewer Basin

WHY

  • Protecting public health and the environment are WSSC’s top priorities, and the information this study will provide will enable WSSC to evaluate the current conditions of underground infrastructure in this basin and make any necessary repairs to the sewer system.
  • The study also will help WSSC meet future wastewater needs.

WHEN

  • The comprehensive study started in spring 2003. Due to the seasonal nature of the work, the investigation will take approximately four years to complete.
  • WSSC will notify customers prior to work in their neighborhoods – especially work involving smoke testing. Harmless smoke is used to isolate improper connections to the sewer system and defects in pipes.

About The Sewer Basin

  • Protecting public health and the environment are WSSC’s top priorities, and the information this study will provide will enable WSSC to evaluate the current conditions of underground infrastructure in this basin and make any necessary repairs to the sewer system.
  • The basin contains more than 300 miles of sewer mains ranging from 6 to 48 inches in diameter and is one of 29 major sewer basins in the WSSC service area.
  • The Cabin John sewer basin transports approximately 8 million gallons of wastewater per day to the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant in Washington, D.C.

About WSSC's Sewer System

  • Serving a 1,000-square-mile area in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, WSSC maintains more than 5,300 miles of sewer mains.
  • WSSC’s sewer system is a modern sanitary, or separate, system – meaning the pipes that carry wastewater from homes and businesses to wastewater treatment plants are separate from the storm water drainage system.

About The Watershed

  • The Cabin John Watershed is located in an older densely developed portion of Montgomery County.
  • The mainstem headwaters of Cabin John Creek originate in the city of Rockville and the mouth flows into the Potomac River between the towns of Cabin John and Glen Echo, shortly after passing under the historic one-lane "Cabin John Bridge" on MacArthur Boulevard in Cabin John, Maryland.
  • The Cabin John Creek Watershed encompasses not only Cabin John Creek, but also such tributaries as Bogley Branch, Old Farm Branch (Upper and Lower), Snakeden Branch, Buck Branch, Beltway Branch, Ken Branch, Congressional Country Club Tributary, and Booze Creek (Upper and Lower).
  • The watershed extends north to the City of Rockville, and is bordered on the west by Falls Road, and on the east by Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road.

Press Releases

May 6, 2005

WSSC Continues Nighttime Work to Enhance Sewer System in Montgomery County

March 15, 2005

WSSC Continues Nighttime Work to Enhance Sewer System in Montgomery County

August 26, 2004

WSSC Continues Nighttime Work Sewer System in Montgomery County

December 4, 2003

WSSC Continues Nighttime Work Sewer System in Montgomery County

October 16, 2003

WSSC Begins Nighttime Work Sewer System in Montgomery County

August 14, 2003

Smoke Testing of Sewer Mains Begins in Rockville Area

June 2, 2003

Sewer Survey (Photos from recent sewer survey with Friends of Cabin John Creek Watershed)

Photo Gallery

Roy Seidenstein, Adriene Weaver, Kirsten Emigholz, and Burton Gray of the
Friends Of Cabin John Creek Watershed stand in front of a sewer manhole stack.
A structurally sound sewer main exposed by creek erosion.
A WSSC manhole hidden in "the bush."

Contacts

* Information courtesy of Friends of Cabin John Creek Watershed. Please visit them at www.cabinjohn.org/focjcw

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