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WSSC: Better Timeline On Repair After Crews Start Pipe Work

7:52 AM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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(WUSA9) -- The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission live streamed its first commission meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss the failing water main and water outage situation in Prince George's County.

The areas affected by the 54-inch water main 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/

Those communities are under a mandatory water restriction. Wednesday morning, a water official said that they saw evidence that people were cutting back on their water use and Andrews Air Force Base has scaled back activities to conserve water.

The failing pipe was emptied to get ready for repairs. The water is expected to run dry between noon and 4 p.m. Wednesday. The work was expected to be completed within three to five days on that pipe, but Wednesday morning an official told the WSSC that they will have a better idea about a timeline once crews can get in and analyze what's happening inside the pipe.

Crews worked 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.

The pipe, manufactured in 1965, is not the oldest in the fleet but it had been showing signs of major weakness since Friday. The WSSC chairman credited technology for preventing a sudden loss of water to all the effected areas, saying that the wires to detect failures inside the pipe allowed officials to warn residents and allowed a more gradual release of water. You can take a look at that technology here: http://oxonhill.wusa9.com/news/news/285611-how-did-water-company-detect-pg-water-main-issue

Prince George's County residents with questions about the situation can call WSSC's 24-hour Call Center at 301-206-4002.

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