High Number of Water Main Breaks Putting Strain on the System

Crews Working Nonstop to Repair Pipes and Curtail Water Losses

| News Release

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS AND COMMUNITY RELATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LAUREL – February 23, 2015: The extended period of extremely cold temperatures plaguing the region has caused a major spike in water main breaks and leaks. The snowy weather on Saturday created dangerous driving and work conditions for WSSC’s repair crews, resulting in many breaks going unrepaired for much longer periods than normal.

The water lost through these breaks resulted in water demand increasing from an average of 150 million gallons per day to 188 million gallons over the last 5 days. At one point, the increase in consumption was draining storage across the system at a rate faster than the system could be replenished. The system has now begun to stabilize. In the past week, there have been over 160 water main breaks. WSSC has brought on extra crews and contractors and has extended workdays to repair broken mains, but there are still about 70 breaks needing repair at this time and calls continue to come in reporting more possible breaks.

When water storage drops below a certain level, water pressure for firefighting can become compromised, and low water pressure can also lead to boiled water advisories. WSSC will provide updates through the local media, social media and at www.wsscwater.com in the event restrictions become necessary.

With the large number of breaks, WSSC continues to experience an extremely high call volume and wait times. If you are without service, you can also report problems via email at emergencyCallCenter@wsscwater.com. Please include your address.

If you have an indoor water meter and you suspect that it is frozen, please call a plumber. If you suspect that your household pipes are frozen, please call a plumber. WSSC is only responsible for outside meters and pipes.

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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