UPDATE: Boil Water Advisory Lifted in Prince George's
The advisory, issued Monday, stemmed from a major water main break in Capitol Heights.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission lifted the precautionary Boil Water Advisory at 8:45 a.m. for all customers in the affected area in Prince George’s County.
Water testing conducted throughout the area since Tuesday indicates there are no signs of harmful bacteria.
WSSC collected water samples on Tuesday and Wednesday, and both rounds of tests came back negative for contamination. As a result, WSSC has determined that it is no longer necessary for the affected customers to boil water before using it. The advisory resulted from the break on a 54-inch water main in Capitol Heights.
“This was certainly an inconvenience for our customers and we appreciate their patience," WSSC General Manager Jerry N. Johnson said in a statement. "However, it is paramount that we provide safe, clean water at all times."
While there is no evidence of contamination in the affected areas of the county, south of Central Avenue and Route 202, WSSC, with guidance from the Maryland Department of the Environment, asks customers who were under the Boil Water Advisory to take a few final precautions.
- Run all cold water taps for five minutes. If you have a single-lever faucet, set it to run the cold water. Begin with the highest faucet in your home or business and then open the other faucets one at a time, moving from your highest floor to your lowest.
- After five minutes, turn off your faucets in reverse order, from lowest to highest. You should also flush your refrigerator’s water lines. Flushing your water lines lowers the risk of potential contamination that is created whenever a water main is depressurized because of a break.
- Flush your taps as an extra precaution because of an increase in the number of water main breaks due to aging infrastructure.
- Dispose of any ice made since the precautionary Boil Water Advisory was put in place at 1:30 p.m. on Monday. The next three batches of ice should also be thrown out. Ice maker containers should be wiped clean with a solution of two tablespoons bleach to one gallon of water.
If you still experience problems after performing the above procedures, or if you have any questions, please visit WSSC’s Web site at www.wsscwater.com or call the Customer Emergency Call Center at: (301) 206-4002, 1-800-828-6439 or TTY (301) 206-8345.
Update 1/25, 3:07 p.m.
According to the WSSC, the Boil Water Advisory will continue until further notice. High quality water needs to be confirmed by the testing, which takes at least 18 hours to recieve results. The system also must be thoroughly flushed, and the process is expected to take several days.
The area where the main broke has been deemed safe for workers and the pipe is exposed. Engineers will inspect nearby sections of pipe to ensure they are in good condition.
The WSSC is able to maintain service to customers while the repairs and inspections are being done, but the guidelines for the Boil Water Advisory should be followed.
As a reminder, here's what the advisory means for those affected:
- Boil water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and food preparation.
- Water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute and cooled before using.
- Water for pets should be boiled and then cooled for their use.
Update 1/25, 5:30 a.m.
The WSSC said in a press release just after 4 a.m. this morning that the Boil Water Advisory will remain in effect until at least two sets of water samples are taken from different sites, and test negative for contamination and are declared safe.
The test results take at least 18 hours to receive, so with the first samples being taken later today, the advisory could stay in effect for at least the next 24 hours.
Jerry Johnson, WSSC General Manager and CEO said that it will be several days before repairs on the water main would be completed. By yesterday afternoon the road had been cleared, and the break shouldn't affect the Tuesday commute.
Original Post - 1/24, 6:04 p.m.
Prince George's County residents that live south of Central Avenue and Route 202 are required to boil their water before they use it, after a massive water main break shut down certain schools and businesses in the Largo area today.
Roughly 400,000 Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission customers are affected by a 54-inch water main break in the 9200 block of E. Hampton Drive. The break of the 40-year-old water main occurred at 3:50 a.m.
The freezing temperatures in Prince George's and Montgomery counties have led to at least 278 water main breaks and leaks since Jan. 1. There were 2,096 reported breaks and leaks in 2010.
When water systems lose pressure, there is an increased risk of contamination. If you live in the affected area, the WSSC recommends that you boil water for drinking, making ice, washing dishes, brushing teeth and preparing food.
Water should be brought to a rolling boil for one minute and cooled before using. Water for pets should be boiled and then cooled for their use.
The boil water advisory is in effect until further notice to ensure that the water system is thoroughly flushed. Click on the Boiled Water Map to see if your area is affected. Check www.wsscwater.com for updates. Customers without Internet access can contact the WSSC Customer Call Center at 301.206.4001.