1 Northbound Lane Still Closed On Connecticut Ave. After Water Main Break In Chevy Chase

10:34 PM, Mar 19, 2013   |    comments
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CHEVY CHASE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Only one northbound lane remains closed after a massive water main break in Chevy Chase that began Monday night.

But the mandatory water restrictions are still in place.  

At one point, the water spewed more than 30 feet in the air and 60 million gallons boiled out of a pipe big enough to walk through. One third of Montgomery and Prince George's County daily water supply bled into Rock Creek over the course of about four and a half hours.

The roiling water undercut a tree and sent it slamming into the power lines. It also eroded the ground out from under a gas line so water, gas and electric crews have all been struggling to patch things up.

"We got a big hole in the ground. Sidewalks cut away, it's one big mess," a resident said. 

Neighbors were left to walk out from darkened homes to cars parked far down the road.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) slapped mandatory water restrictions on both Montgomery and Prince Georges County, so try not to flush the toilet or wash your clothes.

"For the fire department, the hospitals, we need to keep the pressure up," a WSSC official said. 

The break is in a pipe manufactured back in the 70s and 80's.
The pre-stressed concrete with reinforcing steel was the industry standard back then but it turns out it degrades quickly.

Across the country, people are having a hard time with these pipes. We're trying to replace them. But like bell bottoms and leisure suits, it was not a great era. Not a great era.

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