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Emergency repairs needed to prevent Shreve Road sewer pipe collapse

The location of a sewer pipe on Shreve Road undergoing emergency repairs (via Dalia Palchik/Twitter)

A hole was recently found in a sewer pipe along Shreve Road in Idylwood, necessitating emergency repairs that started yesterday (Wednesday).

The issue was discovered during a “routine inspection” of the pipe, which carries wastewater from 34 homes and Shrevewood Elementary School, according to the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services.

DPWES described the defect as a visible “hole void.”

Identified by the department’s Wastewater Collection Division (WCD) last week, the defect is severe enough that “immediate action” was required to repair the pipe and prevent it from collapsing, Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said yesterday.

“WCD is initiating an emergency response to perform the point repair,” Palchik said in a tweet. “The work will be performed with Utilities Unlimited and is anticipated to start TODAY and be completed within one week.”

According to DPWES spokesperson Sharon North, the actual pipe repair is expected to be finished this week, but more time may be needed to repave the site, depending on whether the Virginia Department of Transportation allows crews to work over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

“We anticipate the pipe repair will be completed this week, but site restoration (repaving) may need to be completed next week pending VDOT decision,” North said. “When the work commences, since the sewer is in the middle of the road, the repair will require some traffic lane closures with flaggers directing traffic to safely perform the work.”

The pipe has the capacity to convey approximately 1.4 million gallons per day of wastewater flow from residents and the school, according to DPWES.

The sewer line was already scheduled to undergo “trenchless” cured-in-place pipe rehabilitation — a type of repair for pipe lining that can be implemented without digging up the pipe.

That rehabilitation work will now begin after the emergency repairs are completed, Palchik said.

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