Repairs to Massive Water Main Break Nearly Done
WSSC hopes to have the repaired line back in service by the end of the weekend.
Repairs to the 60-inch-in-diameter water main that burst Monday night on Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase are nearly complete.
A new pipe section was put in place Thursday, and the grout in the pipe joints cured overnight. Early Friday morning, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission crews "slowly opened a valve to begin filling the isolated stretch of pipe," according to a statement on the WSSC website.
On Friday, WSSC crews were slated to "[flush] the repaired line during the day, which is part of the standard decontamination process to ensure water quality, before putting the transmission main back into service," the statement said.
The Acoustic Fiber Optic monitoring system was re-installed yesterday, The Washington Post reported. WSSC installed the system in 2010 to alert of impending water main breaks, but it did not alert WSSC before Monday's break, The Post reported.
The massive break occurred just before 8 p.m. Monday. About 60 million gallons of water were lost, leading to mandatory water restrictions in Montgomery County and Prince George's County, Patch reported.
"If everything goes well, we hope to have the pipe back in service sometime this weekend, which would then allow us to lift mandatory water restrictions," the WSSC statement said.
The Washington Post reported that a Chevy Chase resident noticed "water squirting up from an opening in a circular metal plate embedded in Chevy Chase Lake Drive" about seven hours before the water main break. An inspector found what he thought was a leak in the valve, and determined that it could wait until the morning.
The Post also reported that the broken pipe was made by Interpace, a defunct company in New Jersey that "the WSSC and other utilities successfully sued for flaws that left the pipes more prone to breaking." Most of WSSC's 350 miles of concrete water mains were made by Interpace, Jim Neustadt, a WSSC spokesman, told The Post.