Excessive Rainfall Causes WSSC to Release Water from Brighton and Duckett Dams

Evacuations necessary in Laurel area

| News Release

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Laurel – January 31, 2013: Heavier than expected rainfall has forced the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to release water from both its Brighton Dam in Brookeville and its T. Howard Duckett Dam in Laurel, which is causing the need for evacuations in parts of the City of Laurel.

Duckett DamWSSC has been coordinating with the City of Laurel and other government agencies.

The amount of rainfall overnight was more than double what was expected in some areas. The normal level of the Patuxent River as it enters the Triadelphia Reservoir is 2.4 feet. That level reached 10.5 feet earlier today.

WSSC continuously monitors the level of the Triadelphia and Rocky Gorge Reservoirs to determine when and how much water should be released from the dams. In anticipation of the rainfall, WSSC released water from Duckett Dam yesterday; however the amount of rainfall was significantly greater than what was predicted. The land around the reservoirs was already saturated leading to a large amount of runoff into the reservoirs, which contributed to the rising water levels. Release of water from the dams is a precautionary measure to protect the dam structures.

Brighton Dam went into service in 1944 and the T. Howard Duckett Dam went into service in 1954. Brighton Dam created the Triadelphia Reservoir and Duckett Dam created the Rocky Gorge Reservoir. The primary purpose of both is to provide source drinking water for approximately 600,000 WSSC customers.

The City of Laurel has opened its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in anticipation of flooding. Media can contact Pete Piringer with the City of Laurel at 240-372-3749 for more information.

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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