The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department is aware of water restrictions imposed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). These restrictions are a result of a potential problem with a water main in Montgomery County; however, effects the entire WSSC service areas of Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. To ensure there is an adequate water supply for vital services during the next four days, water restrictions have been imposed. It is in the spirit of community and civic cooperation that we ask all of our citizens and residents to follow these water restrictions. These are in place so that in the event of a significant fire emergency there will be an adequate water supply to extinguish the fire.
Our engine companies carry enough water on-board to be able to extinguish most fire emergencies. Additionally, we have water tankers located throughout the County that can deliver thousands of gallons of water if needed. In the event of a fire emergency, that exceeds our on-scene water resources, WSSC can re-route water supply to the effected area. Fire service leaders will constantly monitor the activity level throughout the County and redeploy resources if needed.
WSSC has taken a pro-active approach to this disruption in service. They were able to detect a problem and initiate action before a larger problems occurred. To ensure interagency operability, they have opened up lines of communications with leaders of both counties and public safety agencies. These communications included a 2:00 am conference call followed up by a 9:00 am meeting at the WSSC Headquarters in Laurel and will remain open for as long as needed.
We are asking our citizens, residents and business to cooperate and comply with the restrictions on water use. The combined assistance will ensure that fire emergencies will continue to be handled in a fast and efficient manner.
Fire Chief Eugene A. Jones stated, “Citizens and residents should use this time to remember basic fire safety habits and prevent fires from ever occurring. Instead of watering your grass and flowers or washing your car, check your home smoke alarms to ensure they are working and install a fresh battery.”
WSSC DECLARES MANDATORY WATER RESTRICTIONS FOR ALL WSSC CUSTOMERS
RESTRICTIONS REQUIRED WHILE EMERGENCY REPAIR IS MADE ON A 96-INCH PIPE
John C. White
LAUREL – July 1, 2010: To ensure continued water supply for all WSSC customers and for fire protection and hospital/medical uses, Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) General Manager Jerry N. Johnson today called for mandatory water restrictions for all WSSC customers. The goal is to reduce water usage by about one-third. The restrictions take effect immediately and are expected to last at least four days.
The mandatory restrictions are necessary after monitoring technology indicated a failing section of a 96-inch water main located near the corner of Tuckerman Lane and Gainsborough Road in Potomac in Montgomery County. “This technology, an acoustic fiber optic monitoring system, detected the problem, allowing us to take preventative measures now,” says Johnson. “This proves the system works and helped us to prevent what could have been a much more serious situation. “ The fiber optics system was installed in the pipe three years ago and will eventually be installed in all of WSSC’s large water mains. The process to repair the pipe has already begun and will continue around-the-clock until complete. Until that time it is imperative that customers:
• Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools
• Use water only as necessary
• Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
• Limit using washing machines and dishwashers (wash full loads only)
WSSC has been working with fire departments from both counties to make sure there is adequate fire protection, especially considering that this weekend is the 4th of July and there will likely be numerous fireworks displays. “We know this is a burden, especially on this holiday weekend. But if everyone can be vigilant and cut their water use by a third, we’ll be ok,” said Johnson. "We appreciate everyone's understanding, patience and cooperation while we work through this."
WSSC will notify customers once repairs are complete and mandatory restrictions are no longer necessary.
For additional information log on to the WSSC website at www.wsscwater.com or call the WSSC Call Center at 301.206.4002.