Updated: WSSC Orders Continued Restriction of Water Use
Two water plants lost power in punishing storms, forcing water restrictions in 100-degree temperatures.
Updated at 5:45 p.m.: Saturday's mandatory water restriction remains in affect for all Montgomery and Prince George’s County customers, residential and commercial.
Friday night's severe storms knocked out power to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) two water filtration plants and other facilities. Crews from BG&E and PEPCO were working to restore power, the utility said.
As of 12 p.m. Saturday WSSC reported that partial power had been restored at the water filtration plants. Some pumping stations remain without power, making it difficult to move water through the distribution system.
The water restrictions were mandatory to preserve firefighting capabilities and to make the water supply last while repairs were under way, WSSC said.
There was no estimated time for when the water restriction might be lifted.
Customers experiencing discolored water should be assured that it is safe to drink but not recommended for preparing baby formula, according to WSSC.
"This is common after a powerful storm," the utility said in a release. "Sediment inside the pipes can be stirred up causing the water to become discolored."
Due to extremely high temperatures, water consumption has been at its highest this year, WSSC said.
The loss of power prevented the system from refilling overnight.
"Until repairs are complete, it is imperative that all business and residential customers restrict their water use," the WSSC said in a press release. "If customers do not reduce their water use significantly, it may be necessary to issue a Boil Water Advisory that would affect all of our customers."
The WSSC said customers need to immediately:
--Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, shrubs, flowers; no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools
--Use water only as necessary – i.e., shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands
--Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
--Postpone using washing machines and dishwashers