PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (CBSDC) – The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has lifted a mandatory water restriction that had hundreds of thousands southern Prince George’s County residents sweating through a heat wave without the use of water in homes in businesses.

The broken section of a 54-inch water main in Forestville has been repaired and returned to service, after forcing many carwashes, daycare centers and fast-food restaurants to close throughout the county Wednesday.

Water quality test returned from the lab Friday evening showing the water flowing through the pipe meets EPA standards and is safe for residents to drink.

View Interactive Map of Impacted Areas

The reason for the restrictions: urgent repairs to a nearly 50-year-old water main in Prince George’s County that authorities said was in danger of exploding.

More than 200,000 residents and businesses in the county are under mandatory water restrictions, possibly for days, while the mercury is expected to climb into the 90s.

The warning to the public came late Monday night, giving people about 24 hours to stock up on bottled water and prepare for days without washing clothes or dishes.


Still, things could have been worse. Officials initially warned that faucets could run dry for several days during the repairs.

But on Wednesday, officials said they were able to divert enough water to keep it flowing. They said the water main should be back in service in two or three days if nothing unexpected happens.

1. Stop all outside water use – no watering lawns, shrubs, flowers; no washing cars, no topping off swimming pools
2. Use water only as necessary – i.e., shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands
3. Limit flushing toilets (do not flush after every use)
4. Postpone using washing machines and dishwashers

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