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Water Main Break Leads To Closures, Restrictions In Maryland

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Water restrictions are in effect thanks to the water main break.
Tim Raftery: http://www.flickr.com/photos/traftery/4303079987/
Water restrictions are in effect thanks to the water main break.

Mandatory water restrictions are now in place in Montgomery and Prince George's County after a water main break, and the restrictions could last up to a week.

Officials say the water main break happened Monday at 8 p.m. at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive. The break, which happened in a 54-inch water transmission main, resulted in a geyser that shot water approximately 30 feet high.

"We thought at 6 a.m. that we were going to be able to open more of the six Connecticut lanes," says Jerry Irvine with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. "Unfortunately, about 25 minutes ago, due to erosion from last night's break, some trees fell over, it's taken out some lines and it's really destabilized the intersection that we were hoping to open up."

Irvine says the line is not fully repaired, but was instead shut down and isolated. Crews are now able to go in and do repair work, but it may take some time.

Officials say business and residential customers should only use water as necessary:

  • 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

Violating the water restrictions carries a $500 fine.

Officials say the affected water main went into use in 1980. The break's cause is unknown. Connecticut Avenue is closed in the area.

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