WSSC crew works through the night to empty failing water pipe and start repairs in Southern Prince George's County, Md
FORESTVILLE, Md. (WUSA9) -- Several communities are under mandatory water restrictions on Wednesday. The restrictions took effect at 9:00 Tuesday night and they're related to the repairs that need to be made in southern Prince George's County to a 54-inch water main that's close to bursting.
The failing pipe is being emptied to get ready for repairs. The water is expected to run dry between noon and 4 p.m. Wednesday. The work is scheduled to be completed within three to five days on that pipe.
Crews have been working throughout the night to empty the pipe and begin repairs. There have been some challenges. The pipe was located deep into the woods so crews had to bulldoze a whole portion of the trees out of the way and build a temporary gravel road just to access the pipe.
We're told crews will work as quickly as they can but it's not an easy fix. A portion of the 54-inch pipe will have to be replaced and equipment to do so is already on the site, but the job will take several days.
Manufactured in 1965, the pipe is not the oldest in the fleet but it had been showing signs of major weakness since Friday.
At noon, homeowners and business owners will be out of luck. A spokesperson for the county executive says the economic impact will be equivalent of a natural disaster for business and hotel owners.
The owner of the Westin Hotel told us that they were exploring with the health department whether they can be open for business and what the hotel's "obligations are under these special circumstances."
Hotels essentially will have to close around noon because they have no water and many businesses and National Harbor are closed as well.
The affected areas include Morningside, Hillcrest Heights, Camp Springs, Forest Heights, Temple Hills and Oxon Hill.
Click here for an interactive map of the affected area: http://gisweb.wsscwater.com/waterrestrictions/
WSSC plans to stream its commission meeting on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. for the first time due to the water situation for thousands of customers. Watch it here on www.wusa9.com or at www.wsscwater.com