photo water main break in Chevy Chase

WSSC Releases Stats on Water Main Breaks

photo water main break

Photo | WSSC

While it may have felt like a record setting month for Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC)  utility technicians who repaired 585 leaking and broken water mains over a 31 day period, January 2014 did not set a record as the busiest January for WSSC.

Looking back over the past two decades, there have only been five months where WSSC experienced over 500* water main breaks and leaks in a single month:


               December 2010         645

                   January 2003         599

                   January 2009         590

                  January 2014         585

                   January 2004         509


January 2014 was filled with some of the coldest days in recent memory. The Potomac River dropped to a seasonal low of 32.9 degrees Fahrenheit on January 29. The sudden temperature changes that we experienced in January added stress to WSSC’s pipes, creating conditions where breaks or leaks were more likely.

“I want our customers to know how much I appreciate their patience during the frigid month of January,” said Jerry N. Johnson, General Manager/CEO. “Our dedicated crews, both in the field and in our call centers, worked around the clock to restore service to our customers as quickly as possible, and helped answer their questions about frozen pipes.”

With more cold weather in the forecast, customers should remember, breaks or leaks can be reported to WSSC’s 24/7 emergency call center: 1.800.828.6439 or 301. 206.4002. Customers can also check on service alerts, report a problem (even send a photo) or pay their bill with WSSC’s mobile app. WSSC’s Service Alert page shows active repair jobs on an interactive map that allows users to search by address. WSSC’s Customer Notification System (CNS) alerts customers via text and/or email when breaks affect service and daily routines. (Customers must register for the Customer Notification System).

Remember, WSSC is responsible for water mains in the street and the connections to your home or business, but not the pipes on your property. Please call a plumber if your property’s pipes break. For prevention tips and to learn what to do if pipes do freeze, visit WSSC’s website.

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