Dropping Temps = Increase in Water Main Breaks

| News Release



Crews Work 24/7 – Ready to Respond in Snow

Laurel, Md. – January 11, 2019 – With dropping temps and snow in the forecast this weekend, WSSC crews are ready with pipes, trucks, tools and leak detection equipment to repair an expected increase in water main breaks. There is a direct connection between dropping water temperatures in the Potomac River and an increase in water main breaks.

WSSC typically sees an increase in breaks a few days after the Potomac River temperature hits a new low. This chart shows the connection between the river temperature and water main breaks. It was one year ago this month when bone-chilling temperatures led to an all-time-monthly record of 802 water main breaks and leaks.

Because snow-covered roads can impede quick identification of water main breaks and leaks, WSSC encourages customers to be vigilant and report any water leaking in the street.

There are three simple ways to report a break:

The goal is to restore service as quickly as possible, but a potential increase in breaks and leaks can result in crews prioritizing repairs based on factors such as number of customers affected and impact to major roadways. Because some breaks may take longer to repair, WSSC asks customers for their patience and understanding.

November, December, January and February are WSSC’s busiest months for water main repairs. Crews have already repaired 534 breaks and leaks since November 1, 2018. WSSC experiences an average of 1,200 water main breaks between November and February.

Find more #WinterReady information here. Want to be in the loop about water main breaks in your area? Sign up for WSSC’s Customer Notification System (CNS), which sends alerts via text or email when breaks affect service and impact traffic. Customers can register online for CNS.

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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