UPDATE 6:45 a.m. All WSSC customers are under mandatory water restrictions because of last night’s 54-inch water main break in Chevy Chase, which has northbound Connecticut Avenue shut down with downed trees and utility poles.
The break to one of the WSSC’s transmission mains happened at about 8 p.m. at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive and sent water shooting about 30 feet high, according to WSSC.
The mandatory restrictions mean WSSC’s 1.8 million customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties must limit flushing toilets, put off washing clothes, limit the use of dishwashers, take shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands and while brushing teeth.
WSSC lost an estimated 60 million gallons of water from the break and wants to make sure fire departments and hospitals have adequate water service.
“Please don’t hoard water,” WSSC general manager Jerry N. Johnson said in a statement. “We’re not running out. But if everyone can cut their water use by 10 percent we should be OK. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.”
The break occurred in a Pre-stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP), WSSC said. It went into operation around 1980 and WSSC said it was unable to determine the cause of the break. There are no customers without water service.
Montgomery County Police this morning said Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway would remain closed in both directions until Pepco clears power lines that came down and the area is deemed safe.
The southbound lanes open around 7 a.m.
WSSC said a violation of the mandatory water restriction carries a fine of up to $500.