Updated with Corrected Total of Breaks

2014 Above Average Year for Water Main Breaks

| News Release



Laurel – January 9, 2015: WSSC wrapped up 2014 as an above average year for water main breaks and leaks. Utility technicians repaired 1,958 broken and leaking water mains.

The five-year average for breaks and leaks across Montgomery and Prince George’s counties is 1,687. And only eight days into 2015 we’ve already seen 66 breaks.

As is the case every winter, WSSC is ready to tackle a heavier workload all winter long.

  • We have a 24/7 rapid response call center that quickly dispatches our crews: 1-800-828-6439 or (301) 206-4002.
  • More than 200 personnel are strategically placed throughout Montgomery and Prince George’s counties to respond to breaks and leaks.
  • Hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment are at the ready.
  • Independent contractors are readily available to assist WSSC to repair large breaks.

The largest number of breaks on record was set back in 2007 with a total of 2,129. During the Polar Vortex last January, WSSC experienced almost 600 breaks alone.

During winter months, water temperature in the Potomac River and surrounding water sources begins to drop. When colder than normal water travels through aging pipes, it exacerbates any weaknesses and causes an increase in water main breaks. More than a quarter of the water mains have been in service for more than 50 years. Customers can track the direct impact water temperature has on water main breaks at Broken Water Main Graph.

Smartphone users are encouraged to download WSSC’s Mobile App to report water main breaks and receive alerts based on a specific location. The “Report a Problem” feature allows customers to easily snap a picture of water and sewer problems and send it directly to our Emergency Call Center. The application uses GPS to pinpoint the location of the image, which allows WSSC dispatchers to send an inspector to the trouble spot in the field.

CNS is another tool to keep our customers informed about water main breaks, road closures and other important WSSC news. Sign up to receive either text or email alerts today.

The low temperatures can also affect home plumbing. Homeowners are encouraged to take appropriate steps to prevent their own pipes from freezing and/or bursting. Visit our winterization page for tips and additional information to help protect your home this winter. 

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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