MEDIA ADVISORY / PHOTO OP: Pings Protect Pipes

WSSC’s Pipe Protection Program Passes 100+Miles to Become Longest Active System in the United States

| Media Advisory



Walk Inside Huge Pipe and See How Acoustic Fiber Optic Technology
Prevents “River Road” Breaks

Laurel – May 8, 2018: It was nearly a decade ago when, without warning, a huge water main buried beneath River Road in Bethesda busted wide open. In a split second, the road lived up to its name. Millions of gallons of water gushed from the broken, 66-inch-diameter pipe and poured down River Road as the dramatic rescue efforts unfolded on live TV.

That was December 23, 2008. Today, after nearly 10 years and a $21 million investment in safety, WSSC has the longest active Acoustic Fiber Optic (AFO) monitoring system in the nation to prevent another similar River Road break. Stand inside a 60-inch water main and see how the cutting-edge technology constantly monitors the pipes at a media briefing on Thursday, May 10.

WHAT:            100 Miles of AFO: Pings Protect Pipes - See how a little cable inside the biggest pipes protects our water and our community.

WHO:              Carla Reid, WSSC General Manager and CEO Mike Higgins, Pure Technologies Sr. Vice President

WHEN:            Thursday, May 10, 2018, 9:30 a.m.–11 a.m., Rain or Shine​

WHERE:         Near 8500 River Road in Bethesda at the intersection of Clewerwall Drive (very close to the 2008 River Road water main break). Plenty of parking is available on Clewerwall Drive.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a very visual event; a rare opportunity to get inside a big pipe, hold a piece of fiber optic cable and see firsthand how the technology inside WSSC’s largest water mains has prevented major breaks and costly emergency repairs. Displays include a huge section of 60-inch-diameter prestressed concrete cylinder pipe (above ground), demonstration of wires breaking, pieces of fiber optic cable, real-time AFO monitoring system, charts and graphs. We are flexible on time -- come anytime between 9:30 and 11 a.m. and get what you need… quickly and easily.

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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