Water main break triggers boil-water advisories on both sides of Potomac

November 8, 2019

A large water transmission line ruptured early Friday in North Arlington, VA closing schools, causing a traffic headache and leaving thousands without running water on both sides of the Potomac River.

Crews responded to the break at about 4 a.m. on Glebe Road near the Chain Bridge after residents reported water outages and low water pressure. Service was restored later in the morning, but more than 100,000 customers in Arlington and the District were advised to boil water as a precaution until tests show it is safe to drink.

The Arlington Department of Environmental Services issued the boil-water advisory for about half the county, suggesting that residents boil water for three minutes before drinking. Across the Potomac River, D.C. Water officials said customers in parts of upper Northwest Washington also should boil water because of a loss of pressure tied to the Virginia water main break.

Katie O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the Arlington Department of Environmental Services, said it wasn’t known what cause the 36-inch pipe to fracture.

“There’s no clear reason why the pipe broke,” O’Brien said. “Weather and age are always factors. We just don’t have a clear cause at this time. I don’t know if we’ll ever know."

More than 100,000 residential and business customers in Arlington were under a boil-water advisory that is likely to remain in place until at least Sunday as water is tested. D.C. officials said more than 6,000 customers were affected in the District, where the advisory also will stay in place until at least Sunday. D.C. Water officials worked Friday to flush the water system and will decide when to lift the advisory after two rounds of testing.


According to a local Water Works Distributor, “We received a call Friday from Arlington County Engineering to check all options for a coupling that went from Over Sized Cast Iron to Ductile Iron. We reached out to every municipality in VA, MD, PA, NC.”

PowerSeal, a pipeline accessory manufacturer located in Wichita Falls, TX was clearly the best option as they could get out two 36”, ductile iron transition pipe couplings in 1-2 days, whereas others were 3-4 weeks. PowerSeal received a purchase order late Friday afternoon and worked over the weekend to get the couplings built and out on Monday night at 8pm with a hotshot delivery. We were able to get the 800-pound couplings from Texas to Arlington, VA in under 36 hours.

The couplings arrived on Wednesday morning at 7:30am. That night the road was shut down to complete the repair.

According to Arlington County Engineering: “Repair Closure was approximately 16 feet. Fit of the couplings was great. Can’t say enough how well your manufacturer supported us and continue to support us.”

PowerSeal is the only Manufacture to offer transition couplings up to 48” and can readily ship to anywhere in the United States.




PowerSeal is now LEED certified

POWERSEAL PIPELINE PRODUCTS CORPORATION is the first major pipeline repair accessory manufacturer to earn LEED Silver status for a milestone in the greening of our industry.



PowerSeal Pipeline Products Corporation, a leading manufacturer of pipeline repair products and accessories, today announced its headquarters and manufacturing plant have been LEED® Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). LEED is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. PowerSeal’s headquarters and manufacturing plant were LEED certified under the rating system for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance.

PowerSeal is the first pipeline accessories manufacturer in the waterworks industry capable of manufacturing Repair Clamps, Couplings, Saddles and Tapping Sleeves in a LEED-certified facility.   The LEED certification is the latest example of PowerSeal’s internal environmental improvement efforts that set the standard for the industry.

Since its inception in 1985, PowerSeal has been committed to the development and innovation of environmentally friendly products. We believe that there is no longer the need to compromise on our environmental integrity.  We are committed to continuously improving the sustainability of our products, and to finding new ways to help our customers reduce their impact on the environment. Our focus on environmental sustainability is the legacy we hope to pass on to future generations.

“I am incredibly proud that PowerSeal’s headquarters and manufacturing facility have achieved LEED certification. This accomplishment is the latest demonstration of the company’s unwavering commitment to minimizing our environmental impact,” said Patrick Powers, President of PowerSeal.

“Our achievements in this area are unprecedented amongst other manufacturers of pipeline repair devices in our industry. PowerSeal’s sustainability initiative began more than 3 years ago and is now a fundamental part of our company culture. We will continue to lead the way with

programs, products, materials and designs that reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet for generations to come.” Patrick Powers, President and CEO challenged his LEED team to become the greenest of the green. Green initiatives internally at PowerSeal are spearheaded by Carl Stone, LEED Manager/Safety Director and the internal LEED Team, led by Carol Rivadeneira, Max Martinez, Andrés Giraldo, David Valencia and Diego Álvarez.

Developed by USGBC, LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third party verification that a company/building is using strategies aimed at improving performance in key environmental areas; energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources and consideration of their impacts. 

The LEED program provides building owners a concise framework with which to identify and implement practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

Some of the key projects that made achieving LEED Silver certification included:

- Mechanical system upgrades, to enhance occupant thermal comfort and energy efficiency

- Lighting upgrades to provide more efficient, more uniform lighting levels and better quality of light to all areas - manufacturing, warehousing and office

- Plumbing upgrades, to increase water efficiency and user-friendliness throughout the facility

- Installation of a "Get Green System" which lowers fuel costs and reduces CO emissions

- Implementation of a robust sustainable purchasing program

- Implementation of a single-stream recycling program that includes corrugate, plastic (bottles and shrink wrap) and paper across the company which has diverted waste from landfill.

- Replace entire facility roof with new LEED certified materials.

- Implementation of environmentally friendly cleaning materials approved by USGBC.

- Implementation of rainwater harvesting and storage system.




Movement Challenge Team DFW

Team DFW was met with a challenge however they embraced it head on and got the job done! It all started when their customer had a shipment of pipe to be picked up in Wichita Falls, Texas to be delivered to a dairy in Murdock, Minnesota.

Courtney Upton/Team DFW acquired the blueprints of the pipe and, per her calculations based on the blueprint dimensions, determined all of the pipes should fit nicely on one flatbed trailer. They were trying to ship 10 pieces on the first truck.

Of course, issues arose when she told her customer, “The lane is a bit elevated right now as not many trucks in the Wichita Falls area are looking to head up to Minnesota with all of the snow they are getting right now.” However, she stuck with it diligently and found a carrier to transport the goods and meet the delivery service hours for the destination facility.

According to the customer, they actually loaded 14 pieces, as the truck had plenty of room for 14 instead of 10. But the customer asked the following question, “If I change the destination, but still in Minnesota, will that be a problem if I inform you by 3 pm today?” This was at 12:30, which at that time, they had a two and a half hour window. At that moment, Courtney went ahead and changed the BOL to reflect the 14 pieces and noted the weight that was loaded.

Team DFW received this remark from their customer: “I wanna thank you all for the great service, the truck driver was awesome he assisted well. He didn’t mind getting his hands dirty. Here are a few pics of my crew getting-it-done. I’ll get back with you for other shipments I have for the same product. Thank you, Ricky.”