Montgomery County water mains on brink of failure by the dozen, WSSC says

The March 18 water main break in Chevy Chase disrupted service in the area for days. Photo: WSSC

A large number of water mains throughout Montgomery County have the same type of faults that caused the enormous break in Chevy Chase earlier this year, the Gazette reports.

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials tell the Gazette that they know of 160 sections of water main that have "similar vulnerabilities" to the ones that caused an aging 60-inch pipe to rupture in mid-March.

That break sent 60 million gallons of water out of the system and caused water and traffic disruptions in the area for week.

The Gazette says that the system WSSC currently uses to detect faults is not able to give warnings about these types of vulnerabilities.

The March 18 main break left a large crater in Connecticut Avenue and caused water restrictions in a part of Montgomery County for several days.

It wasn't the only major problem that WSSC has faced this year. In mid-July, the agency averted a massive water outage in Prince George's County after a 54-inch main nearly ruptured.

Water savings and quick work averted what officials said could have been a multi-day outage for a large swath of southern Prince George's County.

WSSC officials did not tell the Gazette exactly where the 160 failing water mains were located.