Deep freeze causes nearly 80 water main breaks

Gallons of water are turning to ice.

COLLEGE PARK, MD. (WUSA9) - Pipes busted all over the DC area after days of freezing temperatures.

Crews in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County worked around the clock to repair nearly 80 water main breaks.

At 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, there were a total of 78 water main breaks reported by Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC).

Montgomery County had a total of 17 water main breaks, and Prince George’s County was dealing with 61 breaks.

Gallons of water turned into ice on the streets and sidewalks as main waterlines erupted.

WSSC said crews and contractors were swamped with a high number of busted pipes that took longer to fix.

After a water main break is reported, it is confirmed, Miss Utility is notified, the water is shut off, and the broken pipe is dug up and fixed.

Repairs were prioritized based on safety, the number of people affected, and the impact to major roads.

Nearly half of the pipes in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County have been around for 50 years.

“I think that the water lines are a bit too old,” Erick Bonilla said.

“It’s happening everywhere,” Eddie Paige told WUSA9. “I mean this is nothing because wait until it warms up and everything is going to start popping.”

People who live in the affected areas were concerned that as temperatures warm up more problems may be revealed.

“The pool is going to open up. They going to open the pools up Friday,” Paige laughed.

WSSC says November to February is one of its busiest times of the year with workers fixing around 1,200 water main breaks over the winter.

WSSC asks customers to be patient as crews make repairs.

If you need to report a break, call WSSC’s 24/7 Emergency Call Center at 301-206-4002

© 2018 WUSA-TV


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