Cold To Blame For Increase in Water Main Breaks

As frigid temperatures grip the D.C. area, water crews in the region are dealing with a surge in water main breaks. 

Several water main breaks have been reported in the D.C. area since Monday. 

One of those water main breaks shut down two lanes of traffic along Saint Barnabas Road at Arts Drive in Oxon Hill, Maryland, Monday morning. 

A water main break on New Hampshire Avenue near Oak View Drive in Silver Spring, Maryland, caused lane closures and a long search for the source of the leak in the 8-inch pipe. Crews found the break around 6:30 p.m. and estimated it would take about 4 hours to repair.

WSSC said they hoped to have the road reopened by Wednesday morning.

In Alexandria, Virginia, two water main breaks were reported within hours of each other. The first was reported Monday on the 300 block of Wolfe Street. Police advised drivers to avoid the area. 

The second water main break was reported Tuesday morning on the 700 block of Montgomery Street. The road is now open, but police say the roadway could be slick. 

The bone-chilling temperatures that have left the region shivering this week could be responsible for the increase in water main breaks.

A sudden drop in temperature can shock the pipes, according to WSSC. Water temperatures below 40 degrees can make pipes more brittle and susceptible to breaks. 

Here's how you can report a water main break in your area: 

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