Mandatory Water Restrictions Lifted in Southern Prince George’s County

54-Inch Main is Back in Service, Quality Tests Show Water is Safe to Drink

| News Release

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Laurel – July 19, 2013: The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is lifting mandatory water restrictions for previously affected portions of southern Prince George’s County, effective immediately. The section of 54-inch water main in Forestville has been repaired and returned to service. Water quality tests returned from the lab this evening showing the water flowing through this pipe meets EPA standards.

Repairs to the 54-inch transmission main, which began in the early morning hours of Tuesday, July 16, progressed smoothly with little-to-no complications. This fact, coupled with our customer’s adherence to calls for conserving water, enabled WSSC to return the 54-inch main to service at the early end of our timeline estimates.

“First and foremost we want to thank our residential and business customers for their incredible patience throughout this evolving situation," said WSSC GM/CEO Jerry N. Johnson. “We are fully aware this was an extremely difficult week to be confronted with both water restrictions and a heat wave. We are heartened that the response to our calls for conservation were taken so seriously. Customers used less water, and that took a significant strain off of our system while repairs were carried out.”

“I want to extend a special thank you to everyone involved in making the repair to this pipe happen under some incredibly difficult logistical and weather-related circumstances,” continued Johnson. “We are very proud of the dedication and commitment to our customers exhibited by our workers this week.”

“I’d also like to extend our sincere gratitude to all of the officials from Prince George’s County, the State of Maryland, and our neighbors in Howard and Harford counties who provided tremendous support and cooperation as we worked to resolve this issue,” stated Johnson. “While we were able to avert a major crisis, all parties mobilized resources and coordinated efforts in a timely and efficient manner.”

As reported earlier this week, a small team of workers—facing extremely long odds—were able to perform an operation to temporarily repair a “frozen” valve, allowing WSSC to divert water to its customers throughout the repair of the 54-inch pipe. Closing this previously stuck valve meant no customers in the affected area were ever without water service. WSSC’s Acoustic Fiber Optic early warning system signaled an imminent failure of this pipe last weekend, requiring the emergency repair.

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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