Capital Crescent Trail reopens after sewage spill, but avoid direct contact with water

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - The National Park Service (NPS) has lifted the closure of the Capital Crescent Trail closure, in place since last week’s storm that caused a sewage spill.

The trail was closed for more than a week from just below Fletcher’s Cove to Water Street in Georgetown, while D.C. Water conducted cleanup, decontamination and repair work to the Capital Crescent Trail and lands surrounding the C&O Canal.

"The NPS worked with the US Public Health Service and the District Department of the Environment to ensure that the work was conducted safely and that the area is now safe for public use," NPS officials said in a statement Friday.

However, authorities said they still discourage the public from entering the Canal water prism below Lock 6 due to "combined sewage overflow" that also occurred during last week’s storm.

NPS said bacteriological water samples were taken Friday by D.C. Water to ensure that recreational water quality standards are being met.

Above Lock 5 to Lock 7 additional sewage discharges into the canal may have occurred, they added. Cleanup, decontamination and repair work is on-going.

"The NPS advises users of the canal to avoid direct contact with water in the canal," officials said. "In this area shallow water depths typically preclude fishing and boating activities, however pet owners are reminded that all dogs are required to be controlled on a leash 6 feet or shorter in length and should be discouraged from allowing their pets to access the canal water between these locks."

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