2nd High Reservoir Maintenance and Improvements Project, Washington Aqueduct

Project Overview

The 2nd High Reservoir, located at the intersection of Van Ness Street and 44th Street, NW, in Washington, D.C., is an integral part of the Washington Aqueduct, which supplies safe drinking water to approximately one million citizens living, working, or visiting in the District of Columbia, Arlington County, Virginia, and other areas in northern Virginia to include portions of Fairfax County. 

The 2nd High Reservoir Maintenance and Improvements project is a requirement set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that includes safeguards to ensure drinking water in the reservoir remain clean and safe, such as installing backwash prevention on the overflow drain and sample line. The project also includes drainage improvements via the installation of an underground drainage pipe network over the reservoir.

The project also includes replacement of the existing chain link and barbed wire fence with a black iron picket fence, similar to recent fence upgrades at the 3rd High Reservoir (Ft. Reno) and Georgetown Basins.

Project Timeline

July 2022 - Contractor's notice to proceed issued; equipment mobilized 

November 2022 - Drainage of reservoir begins

Note: The reservoir will be out of service for 90 days. Water service will to continue without interruptions throughout the duration of the project.

February/March 2023 - Reservoir work is completed and fencing replacement begins

October 2023 - Estimated construction completion date 


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 What are the construction work hours and expected noise impact to surrounding residents?  

The contractor is required to adhere to District of Columbia Municipal Regulations regarding construction in residential zones:

“No noise from construction, excluding minor home repairs, shall be permitted within a residential, special purpose, or waterfront zone on any Sunday or legal holiday, or after 7:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. on any weekday.”

Construction will require a 90-day outage for the reservoir and will adhere to a very strict schedule during that time period. The contractor may have crews arrive onsite prior to 7:00 a.m. so they can prepare to begin construction activities on time.

 What is happening to the community garden?

The community garden currently encroaches on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) property by approximately 25 feet. USACE Real Estate Division is working with Department of General Services and District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation to develop a formal agreement regarding the community garden's encroachment, with a goal of partnership with the current community garden, while also adhering to U.S. Army security regulations.



 What is happening to the trees along the reservoir's perimeter and staging area?

As part of the fence replacement, tree trimming is required to maintain compliance with U.S. Army security regulations. District Department of Transportation's Urban Forestry Division (UFD) has already trimmed the cheery trees on 44th Street and in the contractor’s staging area. Any additional trimming of street trees will adhere to UFD standards and be completed by a certified arborist.

In the staging area located off of Van Ness Street by the southwest corner of the reservoir, UFD has already removed previously identified dead trees. The contractor has also laid mulch and installed tree protection measures.

 What will the new fence look like? 

The upgraded perimeter fence will be similar to replacement fencing at Georgetown Reservoir and 3rd High Reservoir (Ft. Reno), pictured below. 

 Will there be any impact to water supply during construction?

Water service will continue without interruptions throughout the duration of the project. 

Resources and contact information

For questions regarding this project, contact us via email

To report erosion, runoff, or stormwater pollution from this construction site, contact Department of Energy & Environment.