D.C.

Spring Valley WWI munitions testing house demolished

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After 20 years of investigations and clean-up the house built on a former WWI munitions site is finally coming down.

A Spring Valley house sitting on a WWI munitions site is being demolished. (Photo: Suzanne Kennedy)

The five bedroom house at 4825 Glenbrook Road has been uninhabited for more than a decade after material dating back to 1917 was discovered on the property.

Items found include arsenic and mustard gas from when experiments were taking place in the spring valley neighborhood.

The house demolition will take up to three weeks, with a two phase cleanup project that could last a year and a half.

“The selective remedy that we are now implementing provides the best long term solution for 4825 Glenbrook Road by minimizing the potential for future risk from past military operations and activities,” says Dave Morrow of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Army Corps of Engineers will facilitate the project which will include removing the structure and effected soil.

Special precautions will be taken to monitor environmental impact.

Still, neighbor Christine Dieterich is asking that she and her family be relocated during the project.

“I want to have a safe place in the extended neighborhood where my children can stay during the day when they're digging for world war one weapons leftovers 20 feet away,” she says.

Many in this community have waited years to see this house come down.

“I'm very happy about it,” says Jan Wells. “I'm happy they're started on this because it’s been delayed since fall, so I'm very pleased.”

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