WSSC Crews Continue Round-the-Clock Repairs to Ruptured Sewer Main at Piscataway Wastewater Treatment Plant


Milestone Reached: All Wastewater Bypassing Break and Safely Pumped to Plant for Treatment

Complicated Repair Underway

REMINDER: Drinking Water System Not Affected

Laurel – February 16, 2017 – (RealEstateRama) — WSSC crews continue their around-the-clock repairs to a ruptured pressurized sewer main at the Piscataway Wastewater Treatment Plant in Accokeek. An important milestone in the complicated containment and repair process was reached early this morning as crews finished installing a second set of temporary pumps and bypass pipes, allowing all wastewater to bypass the break and be safely pumped into the plant for treatment. Additionally, the temporary piping to the plant means no wastewater is being pumped into the on-site retention basins.

WSSC now has two sets of temporary pipes, each 2,000 feet in length, moving wastewater around the broken sewer main to the plant. A third set of temporary bypass pipes and pumps will be constructed and, if needed, put into service. All pipes and pumps are monitored around the clock to ensure all equipment is operating properly.

Last Thursday, a 20-inch pressurized sewer main at the plant ruptured. The cast iron main is 52-years old. It took several days to expose the pipe for examination because it was located under a concrete-encased structure that contained approximately 120-feet of high-voltage lines.

The electric lines were de-energized and the concrete encasement broken apart, (see photos on right) which allowed for the lines to be safely relocated. Experts analyzed the pipe late yesterday and determined at least 60-feet of pipe needs to be replaced. The entire stretch of pipe is 88-feet in length. A decision will be made on the remaining 28-feet of pipe after it is inspected.

The replacement pipe is expected to be onsite Friday. It will take at least a week to install all sections of the new pipe.

It is estimated that 3.35 million gallons of untreated wastewater overflowed into Piscataway Creek last Thursday. The overflow into the creek was diverted late Thursday at approximately

Twenty-six signs have been posted in the area of the overflow, along the Piscataway Creek. WSSC has been in continuous communication with officials from MDE and the Prince George’s County Health Department, on site and over the phone, and will take all appropriate measures to clean up the affected area when repairs are complete.

It is important to note that WSSC’s water and wastewater systems are separate. This overflow is NOT affecting WSSC’s drinking water.

WSSC is committed to protecting the health of the public and the environment. With more than 5,500 miles of sewer mains throughout its service area, WSSC appreciates notification from citizens if a sewer back up or water main break is suspected. Please call our 24-hour Emergency Call Center at 301-206-4002 to report water or sewer emergencies in Montgomery or Prince George’s counties. Customers can also report emergencies via email at and those customers who have smart phones can report emergencies using the WSSC Mobile App

Established in 1918, today WSSC is among the largest water and wastewater utilities in the nation. We proudly serve the 1.8 million residents of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, providing life’s most precious resource. WSSC drinking water has always met or exceeded federal standards

Jerry Irvine


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