Another Cold Snap Prompts More Water Main Breaks

Wisconsin Avenue break is one of 69 needing repair

| News Release



Laurel – January 28, 2014: Southbound lanes of Wisconsin Avenue are closed between Battery Lane and Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda. WSSC crews are working to repair a broken 8-inch water main that’s 89 years old. That is just one of 69 mains currently in need of repair.

Sudden temperature changes, such as what we’ve experienced in recent days can stress pipes, creating conditions where breaks or leaks are more likely. Today, the Potomac River, one source of water for WSSC, hit a season low of 33.1 degrees.

So far this month, 427 water mains have needed repairs through three rounds of unusually cold temperatures. January 2009, with 611 breaks, recorded the highest number of breaks within a single month. Overall, WSSC crews repaired 1,691 breaks and leaks in 2013, which is slightly above the 1,601 in 2012, but below the record high of 2,126 set in 2007. This chart shows how cold temperatures correspond to water main breaks and leaks.

Customers who spot a break or leak can call WSSC’s 24/7 emergency call center: (800) 828-6439 or (301) 206-4002. Customers can also check on service alerts, report a problem (even send a photo) or pay their bill with WSSC’s mobile app. WSSC’s Service Alert page shows active repair jobs on an interactive map that allows users to search by address. WSSC’s Customer Notification System (CNS) alerts customers via text and/or email when breaks affect service and daily routines. (Customers must register for the Customer Notification System).

WSSC is responsible for water mains in the street and the connections to your home or business, but not the pipes on your property. Please call a plumber if your property’s pipes break. For prevention tips and to learn what to do if pipes do freeze, visit WSSC’s website

WSSC Water is the proud provider of safe, seamless and satisfying water services, making the essential possible every day for our neighbors in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. We work to deliver our best because it’s what our customers expect and deserve.

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