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WSSC Hearing Scheduled For April 8

by Aaron Kraut — March 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm 0

Roger Berliner (file photo)WSSC officials will answer questions about last week’s major water main break in Chevy Chase at a Montgomery County Council Committee hearing on April 8.

Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) announced the date and 9:30 a.m. start time for the session today on his Twitter account.

Last week, after the 60-inch transmission main broke and sent water shooting about 30-feet into the air at the intersection of Chevy Chase Lake Drive and Connecticut Avenue, Berliner said WSSC general manager Jerry N. Johnson agreed to appear before his Transportation & Environment Committee to answer questions about the what caused the break and if it could have been prevented.

Berliner said he would ask Johnson why a fiber optic cable monitoring system failed to warn WSSC in enough time before the break. In the time since Berliner’s announcement, reports surfaced that a Chevy Chase resident saw and reported water spouting from the road about seven hours before the break, which occurred on Monday at about 7:45 p.m. A WSSC crew determined the water came from a leaky valve and that repair on it could be put off until the next morning.

WSSC has said it will take weeks before a forensic investigation determines the cause of the break.

The break caused significant damage to Chevy Chase Lake Drive and the creek bed just west of the intersection. Both sides of Connecticut Avenue were closed into last Tuesday morning and all three lanes of northbound Connecticut Avenue weren’t re-opened until late last week.

WSSC also imposed mandatory water restrictions in its entire Montgomery and Prince George’s service area to ensure enough water for fire fighters and hospitals.

Berliner said he will ask why a nearby 96-inch water main remains out of service. He claimed mandatory water restrictions were necessary because of the combination of the closure and the Chevy Chase water main break.

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