Replacing water pipes in the West Village

Photo by Constance Chatfield-Taylor
Construction crews at the intersection of 33rd and O Street
Construction crews at the intersection of 33rd and O Street

Frustrations are rising on the P and O streets corridors in the West Village as heavy construction continues, sometimes all night.  “The night shift ends before daybreak and the day shift picks up where they stopped,” one bleary eyed resident said.  “There’s no getting away from it.”

alternative view 33rd and O (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) alternative view 33rd and O

While the roads are being reconstructed, the water mains are also being replaced, some having been in place for 100 years.  The old pipes vary in material, from terra cotta to galvanized iron to steel, some with lead fittings around the old joints.  Some are 12 inch, some are smaller ,and all are being replaced by new pipes.

12 inch water mains, old and new (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) 12 inch water mains, old and new

“It will be worth it to have it done right – the old gas lines were dangerous, and have you seen the insides of the water pipes that are being replaced?” Florence Auld of O street asks.  “And the roads are going to look fantastic.  We just need to be patient and know it will be over soon, with great results.”

She crosses the road, stepping carefully between the mud and holes next to the old track bed, shouting good morning to her neighbor above the din of the jackhammer across the street.

interior look at old water main (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) interior look at old water main

another view of old water main (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) another view of old water main


0 Comments For This Article


Since when is there a "West Village" of Georgetown? Why are you breaking neighborhoods up into more neighborhoods that don't even exist?


Where are they working at night? I live on P Street and they are working on the street in front of my house. I don't recall a single night shift. They work from 7am promptly and are done by the time I get home from work. I am confused by the source.

33rd Street

Believe me, they were there all day and night last Thursday up and down 33rd drilling with trucks fitted with gigantic jack hammers. At five a.m. when they started to turn the water back on in the new pipes, all of ours and our neighbor's home's pipes started rattling and the screeching noise was so loud several of us went running out to the street frightened to see what was happening. Glad you are able to sleep so year to go????


Have courage. We are in the middle of the block on P, between 34th and 35th. Yes, it is a nightmare. For months, the staging ground has been under our bedroom window....HOWEVER, the crews works as fast as they can. They could not be more professional and pleasant. And, yes, our infrastructure will be safer and the street will be beautiful. (On this block, however, we all think returning the tracks was idiocy. I suppose the city will reconfigure the current bus route when this is finished, so that surface damage can recomence.)


The "West Village" has always been. The East Village (those blocks east of Wisconsin Avenue) and the West Village (blocks west of Wisconsin Avenue)are common terms for those of us who have lived in Georgetown for decades.