Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission crews on Wednesday continued to repair the 60-inch water main on Connecticut Avenue near Chevy Chase Lake Drive that burst at around 8 p.m. on Monday, sending about 60 million gallons of water gushing 100 feet into the air.
[Watch video from the scene.]
Wednesday's work involved removing a 20-foot section of the pipe and replacing it with a new section. After that, it will take several more days to complete the work, according to a WSSC news statement. Northbound traffic on Connecticut Avenue still was reduced to just one lane between Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Manor Road on Wednesay.
Mandatory water restrictions continued for Montgomery and Prince George's counties on Wednesday to ensure adequate water reserves for fire protection and hospital and medical services. Tap water is safe to drink, the statement added.
Residents were asked to cut water consumption by 10 percent, and WSSC police may issue $500 citations to residents violating the restrictions, Patch reported.
"We are hoping for compliance based on the honor system and people’s understanding of the importance of maintaining enough water and pressure in the system to keep us all safe," WSSC spokeswoman Kira Lewis told Patch.
In the past, WSSC has "issued warnings and citations during mandatory water restrictions when violations were brought to our attention or encountered by the WSSC police officers and staff during their daily routines," Lewis said.
"This is not an effort to penalize or raise revenue, it is an effort to restore water levels and maintain adequate pressure in the system," she added.
Residents were asked to:
- Use water only as necessary (i.e., take shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands and while brushing teeth).
- Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use).
- Limit using washing machines and dishwashers (wash full loads only).
- Stop all outside water use (i.e., do not water lawns, shrubs or flowers, and do not wash cars).
WSSC will notify customers once mandatory restrictions are no longer necessary.
The water main that broke did have "equipment designed to alert the utility of an impending break, a utility official said," but WSSC did not receive any warning about the break, The Washington Post reported.
"The equipment [installed in 2010] is designed to detect the 'ping' sounds that emanate from a concrete pipe as its reinforcing steel wire begins to snap, giving the utility time to shut down a pipe before it ruptures," The Post reported.