WSSC Begins Non-Disruptive Testing Of Underground Soil Conditions In Montgomery County

Work is part of Bi-County Water Supply Main Alignment Study; Use of sound waves minimizes disruptions

| News Release



LAUREL, MD (May 2, 2005): The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) will conduct geophysical testing starting this week as part of its Bi-County Water Supply Main Alignment Study. Work will take place Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., adjacent to portions of I-270, Saul Road, Tuckerman Lane and Windermere Circle. Work will also take place in portions of Rock Creek Park during the same timeframe. The work will be minimally disruptive, and will not involve any excavation, loud noises or traffic disruption. Testing should be complete by the end of May, weather permitting.

Work involves laying wires on top of the ground in a straight line for approximately 1,000 feet. Every 15 to 25 feet along the wire, a probe will be pushed into the ground. A sound wave will be transmitted into the soil and the probes will sense the sound signals - enabling WSSC to determine underground rock and soil conditions. Test results will provide important data as WSSC examines various pipeline alternatives for the bi-county water supply main.

The supply main, or Clean Water Connection, is a crucial pipeline project designed to deliver water from WSSC's Potomac Water Filtration Plant to customers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The main is approximately 5.5-miles of 84-inch diameter pipe, and will connect an existing main at the intersection of I-270 and Tuckerman Lane to another main in the area where Rock Creek crosses I-495 in Montgomery County. The new supply main will alleviate capacity limitations from an existing 54-inch diameter main, and is one of the last major segments in WSSC's 5,000-mile water distribution network.

Public input is a key part of the study. Recently, WSSC formed a Citizens Advisory Committee, comprised of approximately 30 citizens from within the study area, to provide insight and feedback into the alignments and construction methods (i.e. open cut and/or tunneling) under review. WSSC is primarily focusing on three deep rock tunnel alignments - approximately 250 to 350 feet underground.

Following planning phase completion in late 2005 / early 2006, WSSC will seek the concurrence from the Montgomery and Prince George's County Councils on the preferred alignment and construction method.

For more information on the study, customers can call the Clean Water Connection hotline at 301-206-8184 or visit and click on the Clean Water Connection logo.

For 100 years, WSSC has proudly served the citizens of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties – providing drinking water that has always met strict Safe Drinking Water Act standards and protecting the environment through vital water resource recovery services. Our vision is to be THE world-class water utility, where excellent products and services are always on tap.


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