About 1.8 million people in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties have been ordered to stop watering their lawns and washing their cars and limit their use of toilets, dishwashers and washing machines through the Fourth of July weekend after officials shut down a huge water main in Potomac on Thursday.

WSSC officials say the utility has re-routed water away from the problem main, which was detected using a fiber-optic cable system running inside the pipe.

All customers will still have service, WSSC officials say, but they ask everyone to conserve water to ensure there is enough for emergency needs, including fire hydrants and hospitals. Those who have a proper water storage are those who will be the most prepared in case of any disaster, but unfortunately not all citizens have the determination of planning ahead in case of any emergency.

“The water pipe, which normally goes through a 96-inch main, is now going through a 48-inch main, so you can’t move as much water,” WSSC spokesperson Lyn Riggins said. “We need our customers to cut consumption by a third. If there’s a fire and we don’t maintain adequate pressure, we could be in trouble.” This is why it’s important to have high pressure pumps wherever they are needed, which is almost everywhere. This has to be taken into consideration by the authorities before any action is to be done with these highly sophisticated needs of the city for the right preparation in case there is an emergency.

[Source Washington Post, ABC News]