The Arlington Department of Environmental Services issued boiling water advice for much of the county, advising residents to boil water for three minutes before drinking. Across the Potomac River, D.C. Water officials said customers in parts of upper northwest Washington should also boil water for at least a minute before using. The advisory was expected to be lifted Sunday.
Katie O'Brien, a spokeswoman for the Arlington Department of Environmental Services, said the crews were working to restore water pressure. It was not clear what caused the 36-inch tube to break, she said.
"There is no clear reason why the pipe burst," she said. “Weather and age are always factors. We just have no clear cause right now. I don't know if we'll ever know. "
The damaged pipe was installed in 1
965. More than 60 percent of Arlington's water pipes are at least 50 years old.
The pipe that burst on Friday morning was much larger than most in the county, where the water pipe extends from one inch to 48 inches Most water pipes in Arlington are six or eight inches in diameter.
DC Water spokesman Vincent Morris said that water renovation to parts of the district is "Depending on the work done in Arlington" because the systems are connected, because both get water from Washington's Aqueduct.
A transfer stream much larger than the neighboring stream goes under the Potomac River near Chain Bridge, which takes water from the district to Arlington, Morris said. When burst, smaller distribution lines were emptied on the DC side, causing low pressure which led to the advice on water boiling east of the Potomac.
"Our crews have worked all night, but we in a re hamstrung of the break there, "he wrote in an email, citing work in Arlington. A DC water map of low-pressure areas in the district usually included neighborhoods between Connecticut Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard.
The stop disrupted the morning routines of thousands of residents in Arlington, McLean and the district who did not have water or had to find alternative ways to work.
At 10am, Chain Bridge and Route 123, known as Chain Bridge Road, had reopened to traffic, but Glebe Road – which was seriously damaged when crews worked to repair the pipe – remained closed between Road 123 and the Military Road.
Lauren Brewer, who lives in the Court House district, said she was not aware of the boiling water advice until she had already left her house.
"I get to work and read news and see that I probably should have boiled my water," she wrote in an email. "Thankfully, I read about the advisory and warned my husband because he gets up later than me so he and our pets don't drink boiled water. "
Patricia Burke, who lives in Arlington's Ashton Heights neighborhood, said her taps" spit "when she turned them on around 7:30 a.m. She boiled water for her dog, she said, cleaning out her bowl of boiled water.
"A small inconvenience for me because I am retired and have time to fool things," she wrote in an email. "Can't imagine how families with children and jobs handle this. "
Steve Kramer, who lives in the Cherrydale district, said he woke up around 6 a.m. to find his water" which was popping out of the tap. "The pressure was restored by about 7:30, he said, but he was grateful that he did not have to commute n partner from Chain Bridge to Beltway for their morning trip to Bethesda.
"It's going to be a challenge," Kramer said.