DC Water prepares for Friday’s rain and wind

October 28, 2021

The National Weather Service is forecasting a potential severe weather event for the National Capital Region beginning early Friday morning and lasting into Friday evening. 

Tidal flooding is expected to be the major concern. But even without large rain totals, customers may still experience localized flooding.

DC Water is monitoring the forecast and is prepared to address any issues brought on by this weather event. We are coordinating with HSEMA and the Office of the Mayor, along with other District agencies. In advance of the storm, DC Water crews are checking pump stations, emergency generators and other supplies. They are fueling up vehicles, cleaning catch basins, and preparing the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant’s wet weather treatment facility to handle more flow. Extra crews are on standby to assist.

Customers should
Anyone experiencing a water or sewer emergency should immediately contact DC Water’s 24-Hour Emergency Command Center at 202-612-3400. Please quickly report catch basins that are clogged or otherwise not draining properly. Please also keep fallen leaves away from the catch basins.
For more tips, view the recently issued emergency preparedness customer newsletter at dcwater.com/preparedness21

Most important steps
DC Water reminds customers that the most important step they can take should occur before a storm is on the way. They should check their insurance coverage and consider adding flood or sewer backup protection if prudent. The District Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) has insurance tips and other useful information on its website at disb.dc.gov or call 202-727-8000.

Those who are prone to overland flooding due to grading on their property should have a professional address the grading with physical improvements. In the case of this storm, property owners can place barriers in front of any entry points that water might travel, such as doorways or below-grade windows. In case you experience flooding in the home, taking photos of the source of water entry into the home can help with a solution for the future.

Those whose homes or businesses are built in low-lying areas or with basements below grade should consider installing a backwater valve. Also known as a backflow prevention device, this valve is installed on a sewer line that connects a building to the public sewer in the street. The device allows sewage to only exit the home, not flow back in, preventing wastewater from entering the building during strong storms. Installation of this backwater valve where plumbing fixtures are below top of the upstream manhole in the street is a DCRA code requirement. There are limited areas where residents may be eligible for a discount when they install a backwater valve. Visit dcwater.com/backwatervalve or call 202-787-2003 for more on this topic.