WSSC Media Release - July 25, 2010




Power Outage Forces WSSC To Order Mandatory Water Restrictions

Storm Knocks Out Power to WSSC’s Major Water Production Plant


Contact: Jim Neustadt

John C. White

Lyn Riggins
(301) 943-1237

(301) 204-9558




Laurel, Maryland – July 25, 2010: Jerry N. Johnson, General Manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) has ordered mandatory water restrictions for all customers, both residential and commercial.

The storm that passed through the region caused the Potomac Water Filtration Plant on River Road to lose electrical power.  PEPCO is working to restore power to the Potomac facility, however they are unable to determine how long repairs will take.

The Potomac Plant provides about 70 percent of the water for all WSSC customers.  The Commission’s Patuxent Water Filtration Plant in Laurel is operating normally.

WSSC serves approximately 1.8 million residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

WSSC wants to ensure that there is adequate water pressure to fight fires and therefore the restrictions are necessary.  "This is a situation where we have to keep pressure in the system so we are asking our customers to use only what is essential," said General Manager Johnson.  “So please use as little water as you possibly can inside while PEPCO works to restore service quickly.”

Once electricity is restored to the plant, it will take two to three hours to return to full production.

Water reduction steps include:

  • Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools
  • Use water only as necessary
  • Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
  • Limit using washing machines and dishwashers (wash full loads only)


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Established in 1918, the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is the 8th largest water and wastewater utility in the nation, with a network of more than 5,500 miles of fresh water pipeline and nearly 5,400 miles of sewer pipeline. Serving 1.8 million residents in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, our drinking water has always met or exceeded federal standards.


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