Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission General Manager Jerry Johnson announced Wednesday that water customers should not service as expected during repairs of a 4 1/2 foot water main in Oxon Hill, Md.
"We are pleased to announce that the situation involving the troubled 54-inch pipeline has substantially improved. We will not be lifting the mandatory restrictions, however, if we continue to conserve, we're confident that the system will remain full while we complete the repairs on the pipe and return it to service. We have averted a major disaster," Johnson stated during a meeting Wednesday.
Johnson says mandatory restrictions will remain in place for a few days until the 4 ½-foot main is returned to service.
Officials first got alerts Friday from a warning system that the pipe was failing. Additional warnings over the weekend and Monday forced repairs. County officials urged residents to stock up on water before the work began.
FROM WSSC PRESS RELEASE: LAUREL, MD – July 17, 2013: The water emergency in southern Prince George’s County has been averted. Late last night, dedicated WSSC workers “unfroze” and closed a key valve near the failing pipe. This greatly reduced the amount of pipeline that had to be shut down to make repairs to the failing 54-inch Forestville pipe. This means if customers continue to conserve, WSSC will be able to repair the failing pipe with no disruption in service.
“If we continue to conserve, I am confident the system will remain full while we complete repairs,” said Jerry N. Johnson, WSSC General Manager/CEO. “I want to thank our customers who have done a terrific job of conserving, Prince George’s County officials for their efforts, and to thank our employees who wouldn’t give up on a troublesome valve.”
Earlier efforts to close this valve failed, forcing WSSC to move to another valve much farther away, creating the potential for a large water outage in portions Prince George’s County. The hard work of our crews headed off the emergency.
After the valve was closed successfully, we proceeded to isolate the pipe and began repairs this morning. We anticipate the pipe will be back in service in two or three days if nothing unexpected happens - with no disruption in service to customers.
WSSC appreciates the patience of its customers and the assistance of Prince George’s County officials during this difficult period.