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It takes a lot of work to keep the water flowing

They're out of sight and out of mind - but if something goes wrong with a water main, you'll know.

Water mains are the big pipes that carry water to your neighborhood and home. And they have two major enemies: time and age. So WSSC Water must work continuously to replace old, worn-out mains. With more than 5,900 miles of water mains in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, it's a never-ending job.

With an eye toward fighting the effects of time and age, WSSC Water now replaces old water mains with special pipe: zinc-coated ductile iron pipe. The zinc coating helps to fight corrosion, and that gives the pipes an expected lifespan of at least 100 years - much longer than the traditional 50-to-75-year lifespan of traditional iron pipe.

Eventually, a water main project will come to your neighborhood, if it hasn't already. When it's time, WSSC Water will give you plenty of advance notice.  


Miles of water mains that WSSC Water maintains in Montgomery and Prince George's counties

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Water Main Replacement Project FAQs

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Water Main Replacement Projects

Inspecting the 72 and 66-inch water mains allow WSSC Water to locate and repair deteriorating sections of pipe before leaks or breaks occur and cause more serious problems, including water shutdowns.

No. Water that normally flows through the pipe has been redirected. Residents will receive the same high quality WSSC Water water that they are accustomed to throughout the course of this project.

No. The water is being redirected and residents should not notice a change in pressure. Elevated storage tanks located throughout our water distribution system allow us to keep water pressure steady even with this major transmission main out of service.

If a section of pipe needs to be repaired or replaced; residents in the affected area will be notified, in person by a WSSC Water employee. On average, it takes about one week to replace a section of the 72- or 66-inch pipe. Some work will need to be done throughout the night. Unfortunately, that means crews will be using lights and there will be some noise disturbances during nighttime hours.

The water main is located within a WSSC Water right of way which allows us access for maintenance purposes. If WSSC Water needs to make repairs that will require access through this right of way, we will make every effort to restore the landscape, as close as possible, to its original condition. Structures located within the right of way that need to be moved, may not be reinstalled within the right of way.

WSSC Water employees always wear clearly identifiable clothing. Look for a person in a WSSC Water hard hat and safety vest. WSSC Water employees also carry a picture ID that includes our water drop logo

Some work may need to be done along the roadways. Traffic control will be put in place to ensure the safety of all motorists in the area as well as crews. Slight delays can be expected.

Last Modified: April 15, 2024, 2:19 pm EDT