Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
Defying the drought, a new tributary flowed through Adams Morgan for most of the summer. The source? A broken water valve beneath the intersection of Ontario Road and Lanier Place. Despite repeated calls from residents, the District adopted a laissez-faire policy on the gusher, allowing millions of gallons of potable water to bubble up through a manhole. Finally, on last Friday’s furlough day, the city fixed the leak. “If you had some fish, we could have had a nice fishing pond,” joked Department of Public Works (DPW) employee Alvin Keyes. But several of the more than 1,000 residents who had their water shut off without warning were not amused. When asked how long the water had been gushing, DPW foreman Benjamin Snyder responded, “About a week.” But a clump of neighbors challenged Snyder’s timeline. “Try two-and-a-half months,” countered Dean McDonald. DPW’s repair efforts were slower than usual because replacement parts for the valve—which dates to 1910—had to be made at the city’s Blue Plains machine shop. “People would criticize us if we fixed it or if we didn’t,” Keyes shrugged, adding that citizens should worry instead about hundreds of busted fire hydrants DPW has yet to repair.