Capital Crescent Trail section shuttered by sewage line rupture

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A section of the Capital Crescent Trail remains closed Friday morning as crews work to clean up a sewage spill.

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As bikers, boaters, and runners tried to make their way on to the Crescent Trail, they were abruptly stopped in their tracks.

"Normally on a day like today, people take off work and they come down and they lunch and they enjoy the sunshine, but you can't because it's disgusting," says Nick Sidlin.

The U.S. Park Service shutdown has blocked off the trail on the D.C. end, from Fletcher’s Cove to Water Street in Georgetown. This week’s flood caused a break in a pipe, in part causing five millions of sewage to spill onto the Potomac and overflow onto the trail.

"You can definitely tell when you are riding, it's a little bit funky..." says Adin Adler.

From the parallel C&O Canal trail, you can see D.C. Water crews working to clean sewage off the trail and fix the broken pipe. The problem, according to the Park Service, is keeping people off the popular trail, which can be accessed in a countless number of ways.

"Untreated overflow has potential for a lot of contamination -- it contains a number of pathogens that can carry anything from E. coli to hepatitis...and we dont' want peope to run through that," says Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, spokespersonfor the U.S. Park Service.

And because of how toxic the spill is, the Park Service is warning everyone for the next 24 hours to avoid contact with the Potomac, and not fish downstream from the leak. Also, sanitize everything that might come in contact with the river water.

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