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Massive tunnels to be built to hold excess D.C. wastewater

Tuesday - 4/9/2013, 7:09am  ET

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The District of Columbia's water authority is taking a big step in its $2.6 billion project to prevent sewage from being released into the Anacostia River.

DC Water will soon lower a giant tunnel boring machine 100 feet underground. The machine will dig massive tunnels intended to hold excess wastewater during rainy weather until it can be treated.

The project involves digging nearly seven miles of 23-foot-wide tunnels and will take more than a decade to complete. When it's finished, officials say sewage overflows into the Anacostia will be cut by 98 percent.

The water authority will hold a naming ceremony for the tunnel boring machine on Tuesday and "christen" it with city tap water.

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