Hundreds of Water Main Repairs in January, But Far Short of a Record Month

| News Release



Laurel, MD – February 5, 2015: Cold weather coupled with aging infrastructure is a perfect recipe for water main breaks; 408 to be exact during the month of January 2015.

Although WSSC crews were extremely busy making repairs, the pace of breaks was far short of a record. 

Looking back over the past two decades, a snapshot of breaks during the first month of the year shows 2009 has the record with 607*, followed by 2003 when crews repaired 601. The polar vortex that hit the region in January 2014 led to 595 breaks and leaks during that single month. 

The fluctuation in temperature is tough on water mains, especially the older ones. WSSC tracks the Potomac River temperature and the number of water main breaks on a daily basis. 

About a quarter of WSSC’s 5,600 miles of water mains in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are over 50 years old. The Commission is currently replacing 55 miles of water pipe each year.

“Going without water when a main breaks is certainly an inconvenience and I want to thank our customers for their patience while we make repairs,” said Jerry N. Johnson, General Manager/CEO. “I’m also grateful to customers who take the time to report breaks because the sooner we know about a break, the sooner we can fix it. Our crews, both in the field and in our call centers are here to help our customers.”  

Keep in mind that winter is far from over. Customers should remember, breaks or leaks can be reported to WSSC’s 24/7 emergency call center: 301-206-4002. 

Customers can also report breaks via WSSC’s mobile app, as well as check service alerts and pay their bill. There’s also a service alerts page on our website that shows current 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).

Please remember, 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 pipes on your property break. For prevention tips and to learn what to do if pipes do freeze, visit WSSC’s website

*Numbers may vary slightly from original reporting after work orders are closed out.

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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