UPDATE (10:20 p.m. 7/2/2015):
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission says the southbound lanes of Georgia Avenue in Wheaton have reopened.
10 PM Update: SB GA Ave at Shorefield Rd in Wheaton is open. What a difference a day makes. Thx 2 pipe & paving crews pic.twitter.com/F9UPIcLkQo
— WSSC Water News (@WSSCWaterNews) July 3, 2015
WASHINGTON — A break of a nearly 70-year-old water main in a Montgomery County community has displaced some residents and will close part of a major road through Thursday morning.
A break in a 16-inch water main closed southbound Georgia Avenue in Wheaton between Randolph Road and Arcola Avenue Wednesday, as the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission worked on repairs. The break cost 42 customers their water service.
Repairs to the main were completed at around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday, but road repairs are continuing. As of 4:30 a.m. Thursday, there was two-way traffic on the northbound side of Georgia Avenue, with the southbound lanes closed.
WSSC spokeswoman Lyn Riggins says the agency hopes to get the closed section of Georgia Avenue fully reopened in time for the Thursday morning rush hour.
“Georgia Avenue is a busy road, so it’s been a tough break with a big traffic impact,” Riggins says.
A call about the break came in at about 12:45 p.m. Wednesday as water rushed down roads, putting homes and businesses in the 12000 block of Georgia Avenue in danger of flooding, says Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Spokesman Pete Piringer.
Authorities evacuated some houses in the area of Weismann Road because of flooding. Three adults and three children from one house were displaced.
Riggins says the water main is one of the older ones in the system and is an example of the costs of aging water mains in the region.
“Unfortunately, this is a classic example of aging infrastructure. There’s damage to the road; there’s traffic impacts; there’s economic impacts and, unfortunately, when old water mains break, that’s what happens,” she says.
Riggins says about 2.5 million gallons of water were lost through the break. Also, 42 customers are without water Wednesday evening.
A much larger replacement is in the water main’s future, Riggins says. Over the next few months, crews will be replacing the water main from Randolph to the university.
“This section of water main is slated for replacement, so we will replace it,” Riggins says, “but today we are going to put a band aid on it so we can get it back in service, but we will get a brand new stretch of pipe in here in the coming months.”
WTOP’s Michelle Basch and Dennis Foley contributed to this report.
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