Silver Spring water main break causes damage to homes, frustration for families

Scene of water main break in Silver Spring. (WJLA photo)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (WJLA) - What started out as a relaxing night watching a movie in the backyard for the Haywood family, quickly turned into a scene that Michael and Carla had not wanted to re-live.

“My wife heard the water rushing down the street, and because of the experience last time, knew exactly what had happened.”

Just last year, Michael says they woke up to three feet of water in their basement from another water main break on this street – costing them thousands of dollars in damages.

This time, they hurried to try and stop as much water from getting in as they could, and Michael says neighbors even came out and built a dam in the middle of the street with the help of local firefighters. They ended up diverting most of it to a storm drain.

Steve Murphy is a neighbor, and says he had to be evacuated after WSSC crews hit a gas line while working on the water main break:

“The road was all buckled up this way, and there was water coming out of every piece of pavement.”

But WSSC says the aging pipe, which dates back to the 1920’s, had a split break that required crews to remove a section of it and replace it.

The water company says there have been several water main breaks in the area over the years, causing repeated interruptions in service for some of these neighbors:

“When pipes of that age tend to break on a recurring basis, we’ll look into them and get them on a schedule for replacement,” said WSSC spokesperson Lyn Riggins.

It’s a problem that has created a muddy playground once a year for little Henry – and a disaster for his parents.