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Second Break in Water Main Near Ft. Myer

by ARLnow.com July 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm 1,149 4 Comments

Crews are working to fix a second break in a 12-inch water main near Ft. Myer.

The first break occurred around 7:30 this morning at South Courthouse Road and 2nd Street. Water from the break flooded the intersection and nearby Washington Boulevard, snarling rush hour traffic.

Arlington County crews just finished repairing the break and patching up the road. Now, they’re beginning to work on a second break that occurred at South Wayne Street and 2nd Street. Drivers should expect road and lane closures in the area. The repairs should wrap up around 10:00 tonight.

We’re told the second break happened during the repair of the first break. Both breaks, a county employee said, were the result of blown valves.

The water main is thought to date back to the 1960s.

Residents in the area should expect reduced water pressure and possible sediment in the water. To be safe, those with low water pressure should either boil the water or wait for repairs to be completed.

  • Marty

    Wow – I read this at 6:30pm. Drove past this afternoon but didn’t realize what they working on. Thanks ArlNow.com for posting. How come Arlington County didn’t send an alert to boil the water to be on the safe side?

  • Tracy Kellum

    Hello — I work for the Arlington County Communications Office. I just spoke with someone at the Dept of Environmental Services (DES) water hotline and neither of us are aware of an advisory to boil water for safety reasons.

    There may be sediment in the water, but that can usually be cleared out by running the cold water tap for several minutes.

    Here is the advice from DES: “In most cases, when the water pressure returns, you will need to run the cold water tap for a few minutes to clear the pipes. Use of hot water may draw discolored water into your hot water heater, prolonging a potential disruption. If after 5-15 minutes, you still notice a discoloration or strange odor, contact the water emergency hotline at 703-228-6555. A crew can be dispatched to flush the system through fire hydrants and/or at your meter location.”

    • I’ve received reports of people with low water pressure in the area. I asked someone with knowledge of water issues whether those people can drink the water. He said it’s best to boil the water to be on the safe side.

      I’ve updated the story to make the “low water pressure” part more clear.

  • AG

    I live next to the water main break and I just ran my water to check and there is a significant amount of reddish sediment in the water. I wish Arlington Alerts had mentioned something!

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