In April of 2007, the Arlington County Board approved the widening of a culvert that allows Little Pimmit Run to pass underneath Old Dominion Drive near Marymount University.
This made life easier for those whose homes were located upstream from the culvert. Before its widening, the culvert would act as a dam during heavy storms. Excess water would build up in front of Old Dominion Drive and spill into nearby homes.
However, homeowners that lived downstream from the culvert said that its widening has negatively affected them by increasing Little Pimmit Run’s speed. After a heavy rainstorm this past October, Barbara LaPlante said that 14 inches of her property near the stream were eroded away. [...]
Larry Silverman, an environmental activist in the D.C. area who is working with the commission, said that these problems are not unique to Little Pimmit Run and stem from a lack of long-term planning.
“This is typical for a D.C. stream,” he said. “There is not a comprehensive plan. There is not a watershed plan. This is symptomatic of all urban streams in the D.C. area. They’re all struggling. We’re not winning the battle.”
Arlington County recently completed a major restoration project at Donaldson Run, which was experiencing similar problems -- excessive runoff due to paving, high water volume and speed, extensive erosion.