HYATTSVILLE – Six homes are without water and a section of Rhode Island Avenue is closed indefinitely after a 12-inch water main burst late Thursday afternoon, but the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission will not conduct a forensic analysis.
According to Ayoka Blanford, public affairs unit coordinator for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, the 73-year-old pipe broke at approximately 4:30 p.m. at 4806 Rhode Island Ave./Route 1 in Hyattsville.
Crews responded immediately, but according to the WSSC, 3 million gallons of water spilled onto the road in the three hours it took workers to stem the flow.
As of Friday night, the section of road remained closed indefinitely.
“We are still in the midst of repairs,” said Lyn Riggins, a spokeswoman for the WSSC.
WSSC is attributing the cause of the pipe to its old age. Short of doing a forensic analysis, Riggins said officials will not know the exact cause for the break, but she confirmed an analysis will not be performed.
"No," Riggins said when asked if WSSC will study the cause of the break. "The pipe was 73 years old so we know it was an aging pipe."
The pipe burst left six homes without water, which will hopefully be restored by Friday night, Riggins said.
“We are working to restore service as soon as possible,” Blanford said.
The road remained closed Friday—minus a southbound lane open in morning that is now closed—and it will remain closed until repairs are completed and the road is repaved, Blanford said.
For now, Riggins said, workers are focused on fixing the pipe. On Saturday they will concentrate on fixing the road.
"There is a lot of paving to be done first,” she said.
The repairs required hiring an outside contractor and will cost somewhere around $100,000, Riggins said. The break is “one of the more severe incidents” the WSSC usually sees, she said. There are between 1,700 and 1,800 water main breaks annually.
The road will remain closed until repairs are completed and the road is repaved, Riggins said. If it rains Saturday, as forecasts are currently calling for, repairs may be delayed because workers are told to wait for dry conditions to repave the roadway.