Potomac River Hits Lowest Water Temp. of Winter

Potomac River Hits Lowest Water Temp. of Winter
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If you thought late January got pretty chilly in the Bay region, it wasn’t your imagination. Many of us saw snow, ice, and temperatures in the 20s and teens. And it wasn’t just the air temperature. The Potomac River hit a new low for the season 35.2 degrees on on Jan. 30. The water temperature dropped 18 degrees from the start of January to the end.

35 is not cold enough for the river to actually freeze over, but it’s a big concern for folks living in the area who draw their running water from the Potomac. WSSC, the water utility for the Washington D.C. area, says when the river hits a new low each season, it triggers water main breaks and burst pipes. There are about 5,800 miles of distribution mains served by the Potomac River.

“The pipes ‘get used’ to a relatively consistent temperature,” explains WSSC spokesperson Lyn Riggins. “When we hit a new low for the season and colder than normal water starts moving through the pipes, they get…

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