photo water main break

Mandatory Water Restrictions Lifted (Photos)

Updated March 23.

Water restrictions for WSSC customers have been lifted. The 60″ pipe went back in service late this afternoon.

Updated March 22.
Repairs to the 60” water main are nearing completion. Crews will be flushing the repaired line to ensure water quality, before putting the transmission main back into service. If everything goes well, WSSC will put the pipe back in service sometime this weekend. Mandatory water restrictions remain in place.

Updated March 21.
Work on the 60″ pipe continues at the Conn. Ave. site. Mortar in the pipe joints must set prior to reinstallation of the Acoustic Fiber Optic cable. Mandatory water restrictions remain in place.

photo WSSC pipe at Connecticut Avenue being welded into place

Work continues at the Conn. Ave. site. Here’s a picture of the new pipe being welded into place. Photo | WSSC

Updated March 20.
Work continues at the Conn. Ave. site as the failed 60″ pipe is being broken into smaller pieces making it easier to remove. Mandatory water restrictions remain in place.

Video at the site courtesy of WSSC

To ensure continued water supply for all Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) customers and for fire protection and hospital/medical uses, WSSC General Manager Jerry N. Johnson this morning (March 19) called for mandatory water restrictions for all WSSC customers. The restrictions take effect immediately and could last up to a week.

The mandatory restrictions are necessary following a break in a 54-inch water transmission main in Chevy Chase at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive in Montgomery County. The break occurred at approximately 8 p.m. on March 18 and resulted in a geyser shooting approximately 30 feet high.

Photographs at the site courtesy of WSSC

  • photo water main break in Chevy Chase
  • photo water main break

Natural gas and electric lines run alongside the water main. Employees from Washington Gas and PEPCO are at the site securing those lines so work on the water main can begin.

WSSC has been working with fire departments from both counties to make sure there is adequate fire protection. “Please don’t hoard water. We’re not running out,” said Johnson. “But if everyone can cut their water use by ten percent we should be ok. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.”

The mandatory water restrictions are necessary to allow the system to replenish while 54-inch pipe is repaired. An estimated 60-million gallons of water was lost.

WSSC is unable to determine the cause of the break at this time. There are no customers without water service.

Until repairs are complete, it is imperative that all business and residential customers:

–Use water only as necessary – i.e., shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands and while brushing teeth
–Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
–Put off washing clothes if possible
–Limit the use of dishwashers and wash only full loads

These mandatory water restrictions apply to all WSSC customers, residential and business, in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. A violation carries a fine of up to $500 fine.

For additional information log on to the WSSC website at or call the WSSC Call Center at 301.206.4002.


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