This manhole cover resides at the southeast corner of 2nd and D Street, NE Washington DC. It was spotted by Josh, who says he has passed that way his whole life and just recently noticed it.
The DC Water Department was established in 1882 and was responsible for constructing and operating the city’s drinking water piping system under oversight from the US Army Corps of Engineers. Sewer and sanitation issues were handled by separate departments. The Water Department existed until at least 1942, possibly later. Eventually these separate departments were combined, restructured, and rebranded over several iterations– DC Department of Environmental Services (1970s), Department of Public Works (1985), DC Water and Sewer Authority (1996), and DC Water (2010).