Area utilities plug multiple water main breaks, but do mild temps mean it’s all over?

Frigid temperatures caused an overnight water main break and traffic diversion at Rock Creek Parkway and 27th St. NW Friday morning, which could lead to issues for commuters. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

WASHINGTON — Milder weather is easing the strain on repair crews that are working 24 hours a day on water main breaks throughout the area, but the water companies say the rising temperatures won’t bring an end to the breaking pipes.

Prince George’s County is especially hard hit. The WSSC page lists some 66 breaks under repair or awaiting crews. There are 24 in Montgomery County.

While Fairfax Water has been working on about 18 water main breaks, crews have also been taxed by thousands of customer calls for frozen water meters.

While warmer weather brings some relief to work crews that have labored in sub-freezing temperatures for days, it isn’t a cure-all.

“The warmer weather is tricky. We might think we’re going to be out of the woods, but not just yet. A sharp turn in temperature, the pipes can still suffer,” WSSC spokesman Luis Maya said.

D.C. has also had its share of burst water mains.

“Since Dec. 30, we have done more than 120 repairs of water mains, leaking valves, leaking service lines. Our crews have been very busy,” said DC Water spokesman John Lisle.

Residents in Fairfax have suffered with frozen meters. Crews responded to more than 4,000 complaints since Saturday, and they remain busy repairing water mains.

“Yesterday we had around 21 main breaks and today we have 18. So we’re moving along at a pretty good clip. Since the beginning of this new year it’s been 142,” Fairfax Water spokesman Jesse Aranda said.

Dick Uliano

Whether anchoring the news inside the Glass-Enclosed Nerve Center or reporting from the scene in Maryland, Virginia or the District, Dick Uliano is always looking for the stories that really impact people's lives.

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