Monday, October 17, 2016

WSSC to Help Prince George Residents Prepare for Winter

Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is taking part in the inaugrial Prince George’s County Snow Summits- a series of public meeting to help residents prepare for the upcoming snow, ice, water main break and frozen pipe winter season. The summits will take place on the evenings of October 17, 18 and 20 2016.
  • Monday, October 17, the meeting will be 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at Harmony Hall Regional Center located at 10701 Livingston Road in Fort Washington, MD. 
  • On Tuesday, October 18, the meeting will be held also at 6:30-8:30 pm at Laurel Beltsville Senior Center 7120 Contee Road in Laurel, MD.
  • On Thursday, October 20th the meeting will be held at 7:00 pm. – 8:30 pm at Palmer Park City Community Center located at 7720 Barlowe Road in Landover, MD.

WSSC will join the Department of Public Works and Transportation, Office of Emergency Management, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement, Office of Community Relations/311 and the Prince George’s County Police and Fire departments to provide and share information.

Winter’s lower temperatures increase the chances of water main breaks in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties by about 60% compared to warmer months. Breaks can not only leave hundreds of people without service, they can also cause traffic problems. That’s why WSSC takes winter preparations very seriously and is participating in the Prince George County Snow Summits. The chart below shows the pipe break history in for WSSC over the past two years. Light blue is 2015 and dark blue is 2016.
from WSSC
Residents will learn how to prepare and winterize their homes and what to expect if a water main breaks in their neighborhood. Other organizations will provide information about the snow removal operations and services available during snow events, as well as answer questions. The snow summits are the first of their kind hosted by the county, and will serve as a great opportunity for the residents to proactively plan for the winter weather. WSSC is engaged in a PR campaign ahead of the 2017 rate increase necessary to support its aging infrastructure.

The WSSC provides water and sewer service to nearly 1,000 square miles in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland. Established in 1918, WSSC is one of the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation, with a network of nearly 5,600 miles of fresh water pipeline and over 5,400 miles of sewer pipeline. WSSC supplies water and sewer service to 1.8 million residents in approximately 460,000 households and businesses.

Much of the WSSC’s service areas was built out in the building boom of 1960s and continuing through the late 1980s. The pipes installed in 1960 are 55 years old and typically break at a higher rate than newer pipes. Though age alone is not the only factor that determines the likelihood of a pipe breaking it is a big one.  WSSC has begun a program to replace a significant portion of their piping systems and will us the rate increase to pay for it. Over the next 10 years WSSC plans to replace over 2,000 miles of water pipe and similar amount or sewer pipes at an average cost of $1.4 per mile of pipe (2009 WSSC figure) that is almost $6 billion to replace the piping that has exceeded it design life.

WSSC is moving forward with their program to replace both lateral line and repair water mains.

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