DC Water Statement on Water & Wastewater Service During Winter Weather Events

February 19, 2021

DC Water General Manager and Chief Executive Officer David L. Gadis issued the following statement today in response to widespread service outages across Texas and the south as a result of winter cold storms.

“The District is unlikely to experience what is happening in Texas unless we have a total blackout of power for an extended period of time. I do not anticipate that happening here for a variety of reasons, but we are constantly vigilant and working to improve our readiness for any circumstance.

“At DC Water, we’ve invested in sea walls at the Blue Plains Treatment Plant and protected our most vital pumping stations from flood surge. Before every storm, we preposition equipment, supplies, and vehicles so that we are ready for any possibility. DC water has a reliable system of reservoirs and water towers that help insure strong water pressure across the city to meet short term disruptions.

“We also have technology that immediately notifies us of pressure drops, so we can take quick action. DC water continuously tests and monitors the water in all 8 wards to ensure highest quality. We strongly encourage all our customers to take steps to prevent frozen pipes during the winter, by shutting off outdoor spigots, and insulating water pipes in exposed areas.
 
“We work closely with the US Army Corps of Engineers on the water supply, and always pump more water than we distribute so there is extra water on standby if we have an emergency. DC Water and Army Corps of Engineers have many provisions in place to ensure resiliency in the water and wastewater system.

“Also, DC Water continues to work in partnership with PEPCO to ensure our critical water and wastewater facilities have the necessary redundancy and resiliency from a power supply standpoint. DC Water has also invested in stationary generators for its critical pump stations and we maintain a fleet of mobile generator capacity.  We continue to work towards enhancing our generator capacity. Through a series of reservoirs and system water storage as well as an extensive continuity of operations plan, DC Water has the ability to maintain or restore system pressures should infrastructure failures impacting the water system occur. Customers with any questions could contact out customer service number at 202-354-3600."