UPDATE: Aug 22, 6:30 p.m.
Muirkirk is now open, with no side roads blocked. Water pressure seems to be back up to about where it was before the break.
Click photo to enlarge it.
UPDATE: Aug 22, 11 a.m.
By 11 am the water main had been repaired and crews were preparing the road for resurfacing. Westbound traffic on Muirkirk is now blocked before Mt. Pleasant Dr., forcing a U-turn at Orvis Way to return eastbound on Muirkirk. WSSC said that Monptelier Elementary School (not in session) lost water only temporarily, but there were no other known breaks in water service to surrouonding residents. WSSC said no special water quality precautions are needed. Fairlane Pl noticed slightly lower water pressure, but our pressure has always been on the high side, so the repair may have brought the pressure more toward normal, which may be a good thing.
UPDATE: Aug 21, 9 p.m.
The WSSC web site now shows a Service Advisory: Work order 8221434, 08/21/2008, Repair Damaged Water Main, 12100 Mt. Pleasant Dr., Laurel, Pipe Size 20 inches. There is no Press Release about it on the WSSC web site.
=========UPDATE: Aug 21, 4 p.m.
No WSSC Service Advisory is on their web site at this time. Water is still flowing as efforts to shut it off continue. Eastbound Muirkirk traffic is blocked somewhere west of Mt. Pleasant Rd. Westbound Muirkirk traffic is being detoured onto Mt. Pleasant Dr (though access to Mt. Pleasant from westbound Muirkirk may soon be blocked). Cars on Mt. Pleasant Dr are blocked from entering Muirkirk. There is inferrably a 9-foot deep sink hole under eastbound Muirkirk at Mt. Pleasant, evidenced by a two-foot sag in the street there. The photo (click it to enlarge) is at Orvis Way & Muirkirk looking toward Mt. Pleasant Dr. The entrance to Orvis Way does not appear damaged -- just collecting silt from the water coming from the Mt. Pleasant intersection. (map)
=========There was a waterline break on Muirkirk Road, this morning, Aug 21, 2008. Water is surfacing in the eastbound lane of Muirkirk, between Orvis Way and Mt. Pleasant Dr. (map) near the area of the weeks-long ongoing roadside construction near the electric power station west of Tuscany.
Aug 21, 2 p.m.:
At this time the full scope of this problem is not known, within or possibly beyond Montpelier Hills.
Around 12:45 p.m. two WSSC employees shut off water valves in the middle of Muirkirk Road in front of the Montpelier Elementary School.
Checking with the school (which begins classes next Monday, Aug 25) -- they did not notice any water problems (yet). At that time residents on Tuscany and Fairlane also seem unaffected (so far).
Around 1:45 p.m. WSSC said the situation continues to be assessed and more shutdowns may be expected. WSSC said that a public advisory will be issued soon, IF the break affects more than 100 people or critical facilities.
Watch the WSSC Service Advisories web page for that advisory (*), which may also be carried in the media, depending on the number of nearby affected homes and facilities. (*) That page is apparently only a map of advisory locations. Watch the main WSSC web Site for Advisories issued as Press Releases.
Pending any possible official WSSC advisory, residents may consider taking interim precautions regarding water supply and water quality.
Watch this article for updates.
The WSSC Service Advisories web link and main WSSC web site are now on the Montpelier Hills News blog (under MH Community Information) and South Laurel News & Views blog (under Regional).