What you need to know during PG water main repair - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

What you need to know during PG water main repair

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WSSC announced Wednesday that residents would not be without water. Water restrictions remain in place until further notice.

The restrictions are in place while the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission attempts to repair a 54-inch concrete pipeline that is failing.

WSSC spokesperson I.J. Hudson clarified that after water is shut off in the pipe, residents in affected areas will still have access to water for another 12 to 15 hours.

Prince George's County has announced a Local Declaration of Emergency due to this crisis.

WSSC will be live streaming meetings regarding the water main repair on their website.


Water Distribution Points, Receptions Centers, Shelter Locations

Cooling Station Locations in Prince George's County

Timeline for repairs:

- Mandatory water restrictions will begin at 9 p.m. Tuesday

- WSSC will refill the system to capacity in the area to be affected

- Once the system is full, WSSC, will de-water the pipe to prepare for repairs

Communities likely to be affected include:

  • Morningside
  • Hilcrest Heights
  • Forest heights
  • Camp Springs
  • National Harbor
  • Temple Hills
  • Oxon Hill
  • Andrews Air Force Base

An interactive map will update the affected areas and is available at http://gisweb.wsscwater.com/waterrestrictions/. WSSC has released a statement acknowledging problems and that the map is being updated and worked on throughout the day.

Two cooling centers will be open Wednesday and residents in affected areas will be allowed to shower and use restrooms. Location of these centers will be released tonight. Residents are urged to register for Notify Me in order to get immediate updates on the situation and locations of cooling centers.

"This is serious. You need to have a plan of action," said Obie Patterson, Prince George's County Councilmember.The main will be shut down Tuesday evening.

It is likely tens of thousands of Prince George's customers will lose water service for a few days. Information on water storage information, water restrictions and details on the problem can be found here. Information is also being released by WSSC on their Facebook and Twitter.

WSSC's water restriction guidelines:

  • Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, shrubs, flowers; no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools
  • Use water only as necessary – i.e., shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands
  • Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
  • Postpone using washing machines and dishwashers

Residents are urged to stock up on water. Jaime Miller, a public relations representative for the company, said the company has three stores in the affected area and they are making arrangements for special deliveries of more bottle water to stores in all of Prince George's County and nearby D.C. stores. The stores will remain open and bring in whatever needed to keep restrooms and water open and available. Quality assurance staff will be on site to make sure it is sanitary.

Water storage tips from WSSC:

  • Store 1-2 gallons of safe water per person per day.
  • "Safe" is tap water in clean containers or store bought bottled water.
  • Store 1-2 gallons of purchased distilled water for any individuals with chronic health problems including weakened immune systems.
  • Store tap water in airtight, clean, food-grade plastic containers.
  • Do not store drinking water in glass or used milk containers.
  • Don't forget to store water for your pets to drink.
  • You can use the water in your hot-water tank and ice cubes.
  • Water stored in a bath tub or swimming pool can be used to flush toilets.
  • Don't forget, most people in the area are NOT affected. So contact relatives and friends and ask for their assistance.

An increasing number of wire breaks in the vital 54-inch section of the pre-stressed concrete cylinder pipe, located inside the Beltway between Suitland Parkway and Forestville Road, signaled to WSSC repairs needed to be made.

WSSC outlined the problem:

  • An Acoustic Fiber Optic (AFO) monitoring system inside the pipe alerted us to the potential failure.
  • A section of the pipe will need to be shut down so repairs can be made.
  • Repairs could take about five days.
  • There is a map on our homepage – wsscwater.com showing the affected area in red.
  • You can use the search box located on the upper left side of the page to type in an address and determine if it is in the affected area.
  • Ahead of the restrictions, customers in the affected area are encouraged to stock up on water because we are expecting a water shortage as a result of the main shut down and subsequent repairs.
  • Customers should stock up on bottled water for drinking.
  • Bathtubs can be filled with water to be used to flush toilets. If you have a swimming pool, that water can also be used for flushing toilets. 
  • The water in the system is safe to drink.

Prince George's County Emergency Services will be working with hospitals, nursing homes and others to ensure they have water.

Keep checking MyFoxDC via our Facebook, Twitter and website for updates.

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