A 13.2-mile network of tunnels designed to better manage Washington, D.C.'s combined-sewer overflows is beginning to take shape, as the tunnel-boring machine christened "Lady Bird" makes her way to a major pumping station about one mile from the Capitol.
The tunnels are part of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority's Clean Rivers Project, a long-term Clean Water Act-compliance initiative based on capturing and treating at least 96% of the 3 billion gal of raw and combined sewage that overflows from the older sections of the capital's sewer system every year.
Other components of the projects include three more tunnels and up to $100 million in green infrastructure. As each tunnel is finished, future overflows will be channeled to the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant.
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