Impasse over Purple Line may lead to relocation of water main

A suburban Maryland water utility's row with MTA Maryland over its Purple Line construction will likely result in the relocation of a water main the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission has said is threatened by the work.

WSSC sent a cease and desist letter to MTA Friday demanding "that you cease unauthorized construction work at the Glenridge Rail Storage Yard..."

The utility says MTA's contractors building the Purple Line are throwing heavy dirt right on top of a 66-inch water main that lays beneath the ground on the site of the future Glenridge maintenance facility.

WSSC says the work, if it isn't stopped, could cause the line to explode. That could cause damage to the site, eliminate water pressure in Southern Prince George's County and leave fire hydrants with low water supplies.

The MTA's Jeffrey Ensor, director of project delivery and finance, disputed WSSC's claim that construction was happening that threatened the water line.

Both entities agreed Tuesday to discuss MTA moving the water line before the project is complete, which WSSC says could cost the state millions.

Ensor says despite the likely relocation of the line, he expects the Purple Line to remain on schedule for a later 2022 opening.