The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is the 8th largest water and wastewater utility in the nation, serving nearly 1.8 million residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Within these two counties, WSSC operates and maintains over 5,300 miles of sewer pipeline. Most of these pipes were constructed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and are nearing the end of useful life.
As a result of ongoing investigations into the condition of the sewer infrastructure, WSSC is in the process of implementing various rehabilitation programs that will extend the useful life of the aging sewer system by renewing, replacing, and repairing the sewer pipes. The modernization program will extend the life of the existing sewer system 50 to 100 years, eliminate sewer overflows and basement backups, and allow the WSSC to comply with a Consent Decree reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Maryland Department of Environment and several local environmental groups.
Rehabilitating the sewer infrastructure will require the use of various remediation methods in addition to the restoration of impacted streams in areas where exposed sewer components intersect with streams. These rehabilitation and restoration projects will take many years to complete. You may access the SR3 Construction Map and input information to view work types related to a specific street or renewal contract.
In addition, WSSC has a new Customer Notification System (CNS) that can inform and update customers about such projects via text message or email. Customers must sign up for CNS. During the sign-up process click on the box that says “community/other events”. CNS is free, but charges from your cell phone provider do apply for text messages.
While sewer system work is in progress water and sewer service may be interrupted for a period of time to allow work to be completed. Customers whose homes and businesses are impacted by this work will be notified approximately 48 hours in advance of any interruption to their water or sewer service. If you are at home you may even be asked not to use water for short periods of time. The period of “no water” is necessary to allow the contractors to work safely, allow for proper material curing/setting times, and the successful reinstatement of your sewer service.
Construction equipment needed to complete the sewer rehabilitation work will remain in the project areas for the duration of the project. In some residential neighborhoods this could mean adjustments in parking and neighborhood driving patterns. Every effort will be made to minimize traffic inconveniences and to maintain appropriate signs to assure road safety in work areas. Also, because some of this work may have to be performed during the late evening and the early hours of the morning, when customer sewage flows are relatively low, there may be some night time noise and bright lights associated with night time work.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience that you may experience and want to assure you we will take steps to minimize any inconvenience this work may cause. These are important projects and if you have any questions, feel free to call the WSSC Sewer Rehabilitation Unit at 301-206-8325 (7:30a.m. - 4:00p.m. Monday through Friday), or send an email to Mark Behe. We hope you will see that in spite of some temporary, short-term inconvenience, the upgrade of the existing sewer system is less disruptive than traditional excavation and installation. Again, WSSC appreciates your cooperation and understanding.