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Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 07/ 5/2010

Water restrictions to continue into Tuesday

By Mike McPhate

Officials with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission said repairs to a damaged water main in Potomac were completed Monday, but restrictions on water use will continue Tuesday.

Nearly 1.8 million residents of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties have been under water restrictions since Thursday, when the massive water main was shut off. Officials feared that the pipe could burst after internal warning systems alerted them to significant corrosion.

The 8-foot-wide pipe, the largest in WSSC pipeline, was installed in 1969 and was last inspected three years ago. It’s a part of six-mile-long underground waterway that feeds to customers in both counties.

WSSC has been working around the clock since Thursday to replace the damaged pipe located near the intersection of Tuckerman Lane and Gainsborough Road, a residential area off Interstate 270. The damaged pipe had to be drained and then removed from its perch several yards below the ground. Workers were able to have it out by overnight Saturday and had hoisted the replacement into place by later that afternoon.

Officials wanted the average daily water consumption, which is typically between 200 and 220 gallons, to drop by 30 percent during the restrictions. Although the decreases continued steadily since Thursday, consumption had fallen by 12 percent on Monday, or less than half of WSSC’s goal.

Police enforcing the restriction note that many of the customers found in violation claim they didn’t know of the restrictions. Also, some business owners thought that they weren’t subject to the restrictions.

Earlier: Pipe repairs, water limits wrapping up

-- By Rick Rojas

By Mike McPhate  | July 5, 2010; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  | Tags:  maryland  
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What is this supposed to mean?

"Workers were able to have it out by overnight Saturday and had hoisted the replacement into place by later that afternoon. "

Posted by: CathyD3 | July 5, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

So...why are the restrictions continuing?

Posted by: gewaldron | July 5, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Why are there water restrictions anyway...what happened to all that melted snow from the two 30 inch snowstorms????

Posted by: rickyroge | July 5, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm like the others, why is there still a restriction? Many of us have hundreds to thousands of dollars tied up in plants in our yards. In this heat the likelihood of loosing them is very high if we can't water them. Businesses are in an even bigger bind, this has shut down some. Who pays for their losses? It isn't fair to do that without an explanation to homeowners and businesses. I think, if WSSC wants us to cooperate they have to give us a reason for this demand. If they are concerned with compliance they need to step forward. I didn't even know there was a restriction until Sat. evening. They were extremely poor in getting word out. Even the Post's coverage has left a lot of questions. Right now, if the thing is fixed, the ball is in their court to explain this.

Posted by: jspinner2 | July 5, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

rickyroge - That snow melted and all the water ran off into the rivers... What did you think was going to happen to it??

As far as why the restrictions are still in place, if any of you had been following this story you would know that WSSC is testing the water to make sure that no bacteria has grown, and this process takes some time, so the restrictions will stay in place until the tests are back. These aren't difficult questions to answer, just read the articles.

Posted by: benjaminecarter | July 5, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

With the extreme high temperatures and lack of rain, young trees are looking very stressed. We've been encouraged to grow our own veggies, but we may lose most of what we planted. That has greater long-term effect than not taking showers or filling swimming pools.

Posted by: grammieann | July 5, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

If I didn't read the papers, I would have no clue we were supposed to use less water. I bet that about none of my neighbors in Hyattsville know about and/or intend to heed water restrictions.

Posted by: dckid | July 5, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

***Many of us have hundreds to thousands of dollars tied up in plants in our yards. ***

If all that is so important to you, you shoulda shelled the bucks out for a well. Stuff happens, deal with it.

Posted by: Ratzoe | July 5, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

So much for government being able to do things quickly and properly.

Day 77 in the Gulf and President Soetero diddles smoking cigarettes.

Where are the jobs Barry?

Posted by: charlietuna666 | July 5, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

You think you have problems now.
With increasing demand for water, your neglected infrastructure of your water supply,(along with the others like roads & sewage) you will have a lot more in the future.

The States like California and Arizona are now getting into serious situations , and some politicians are beginning to understand that water is the most essential thing.

No water - no life.

From the above messages, it is obvious that none of you realise how serious things are.

Posted by: Elderlybloke | July 6, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

The restriction is no longer in place. It was lifted this morning (Tue. 07/06). Se the WSSC page for details:

From WSSC web page:
"Laurel, MD, July 6, 2010) General Manager Jerry N. Johnson has announced the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is lifting the Mandatory Water Use Restrictions, effective immediately. WSSC serves customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

"Our pipe is back in service. I want to thank our customers who were unavoidably inconvenienced by these water restrictions,” said Johnson. “We made the right decision and took the proper precautions when we decided to immediately repair the pipe. The restrictions were unfortunate, but necessary. We needed to be proactive to prevent what could have been a very serious situation."

In addition, WSSC continued the restrictions into Tuesday to make certain that the water meets state water quality standards and ensure the health and safety of our customers. WSSC has never had a drinking water violation in 92 years of operation. Tests confirmed this morning that those standards have been met. The pipe was put back in service and now the water use restrictions have been lifted."

Have a nice day!

Posted by: TechFan | July 6, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

It's great that the restrictions have been lifted. But having said that, I wonder how many of you have any idea of the engineering and mechanical work that is involved in removing and replacing that size pipe. This isn't your home plumbing system folks. We're talking valves (big valves) that have to closed, excavaction, lifting (using a crane), and cutting away a fairly large section of pipe. These men and women are not working in your air-conditioned homes. They're working in a trench and confined space.

Bottom line, get over it. Real human lives are at risk and some of you are complaining about plants!

Posted by: | July 6, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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