Residents Told to Avoid Four Mile Run After Sewage Spill

Up to 1,800 gallons of human waste may have entered storm drains

Wednesday, May 29, 2013  |  Updated 2:38 PM EDT
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Workers clear the site of a sewage spill that may have sent up to 1,800 gallons of sewage into storm drains in Arlington County.

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Arlington Sewage Spill

Crews spent hours cleaning up a big sewage spill in Arlington on Sunday. Darcy Spencer reports.

Arlington Sewage Spill

Crews spent hours cleaning up a big sewage spill in Arlington on Sunday. Darcy Spencer reports.
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Arlington County has lifted a water advisory Wednesday for Lower Long Branch and Four Mile Run downstream of I-395 to the Potomac River.

The advisory was placed after up to 1,800 gallons of human waste may have spilled into storm drains in Arlington County following a collision involving a sewage truck early Sunday morning on Arlington Boulevard (Route 50).

More than an inch of rain fell in Arlington Tuesday night, naturally flushing the stream and allowing the county to lift the advisory Wednesday and recommend normal stream safety precautions.

A spokesperson for Arlington County Fire Rescue said that the Don's Johns sanitation services truck contained 1,800 gallons of human sewage before the accident and was empty after the impact.

Police say the truck collided with a sedan shortly before 7 a.m. in the eastbound lanes of Arlington Boulevard near Fillmore Street.

A hazmat team was called to the scene to clean up the sewage that had spilled into the roadway. The cause of the accident is still being investigated by police.

Five people in the sedan were injured in the crash, two of whom had to be cut out of the car. Three people were taken to Fairfax Hospital with so-called "traumatic injuries," while the other two were taken to Virginia Hospital Center. Their conditions were not immediately known.

Arlington Boulevard was closed in both directions between Highland and Fillmore streets. The road reopened shortly before 1 p.m.

The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services advised residents to keep themselves and their pets out of the waters of Four Mile Run between Columbia Pike and the Arlington County line.

Officials said that the waste from the spill would enter Four Mile Run south of Interstate 395 via Lower Long Branch Run.

However, authorities also said the spill would not affect any of the parks, streams or dog parks along Four Mile Run north from Interstate 395 to Columbia Pike. Jenny Dean and Barcroft parks are among those parks that will not be affected.

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