Infrastructure & Environment

Maryland County Shuts Water Off for 100,000 During Heat Wave

The spigot will run dry, toilets won’t flush and there will be no cooling shower on sweltering days for more than 100,000 people in Prince George’s County as crews wrestle to repair a major water main that serves their homes and businesses.
July 17, 2013

The spigot will run dry, toilets won’t flush and there will be no cooling shower on sweltering days for more than 100,000 people in Prince George’s County as crews wrestle to repair a major water main that serves their homes and businesses.

The shutdown was carried out Tuesday night and may last up to five days, water officials said.

Montgomery and Prince George’s have some of the most potentially explosive concrete mains in the U.S.

The warning triggered a headlong rush Tuesday to stock up on bottled water, fill bathtubs and gather any container that might hold water. Firefighters, hospitals and other services that depend on the water supply made contingency plans to handle emergencies.

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, in a warning first issued Monday night, said a 4 1/2-foot main just inside the Capital Beltway was about to fail and might take as long as four days to replace. The utility said it planned to fill other pipes in the area that would be affected by the shutdown to capacity before cutting off the water late Tuesday.

The problem occurred in a week when Washington’s temperatures were expected to soar into the 90s, with heat indexes topping 100 degrees.

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