ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) - Arlington County advised residents to avoid water downstream of a sewage release near S. Dinwiddie St. and Columbia Pike on Tuesday which affects the area of Four Mile Run from Columbia Pike downstream to the Potomac.
The measure is precautionary following the discovery of a sewage release resulting from a blocked sewage pipe. Crews have removed the blockage from the pipe, and the release is no longer occurring.
Residents are advised to stay away from the affected waters and to keep their pets away until further notice, to eliminate the risk of exposure to untreated sewage. Residents should also not fish in the streams or have any contact with the waters - including wading or swimming - until further notice from the County.
The advisory to avoid all contact is an extra precaution to allow the effect of the sewage discharge to be diminished by natural flushing of the streams. The recreational areas affected include the following parks adjacent to the streams: Barcroft, Shirlington, Jennie Dean, Allie Freed and Bicentennial Gardens.
The County has posted flyers along the affected areas of Four Mile Run.
Residents are also reminded that stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, whether the stream is located in an urban area or in the middle of a forest. Even after the discharge is naturally flushed from the streams, the County's normal precautions for safe use of streams apply.
Additional information and safety tips on Arlington streams, including information on reporting stream pollution incidents, are on the County's Department of Environmental Services Web site.