Arlington residents to pay for sewage line problems

11:19 PM, Nov 13, 2013   |    comments
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ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA9) -- Unsettling news for some homeowners who have just found out they have to foot a massive bill to fix a sewer line, tens of thousands of dollars per homeowner. At the center of it all is an ancient sewage line running between 9th and 10th streets in between Danville and North Daniel in Arlington

The sewage line in question runs more than 400 feet long, and was probably installed somewhere in the 1920's according to engineers.

WUSA9 was told that pipe has been falling into disrepair for years. It's clogged up with roots, and weakening. There are about a dozen homes connected to it.

Jerry Lewis owns four of those houses. He said, "I can't believe that you can just call a meeting and tell a group of homeowners that their going to have to shell out $10-20,000 a piece."

Tens of thousands of dollars per house; that's what it could cost to disconnect from the old line, and into the county's newer sewer system. It turns out the old line was originally owned by a private sewer company that doesn't exist anymore.

Karen Ahuja moved in just three years ago, and she's most upset that no one told her about the pre-existing issue. "The developer got the permit to connect our sewage line to what they thought was an appropriate line," she said.

The county now says they have no record of that line belonging to them. They agree they did repair and maintain it in the past, but that was because they falsely thought it was theirs.

Dave Hundelt, the Chief Operating Engineer in Arlington County said, "Ultimately state law would say that if it's private we can't really continue to maintain it or certainly replace it or fix it  at the county's expense."


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