Thousands to lose water for days in southern Md. amid heat wave

Crews work to reach a faulty water main in southern Maryland

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Maryland A water main break in Prince George's County in Maryland could leave thousands without water for days.

A 54-inch water main is beginning to fail, officials say, and they must shut down part of the system to replace it, reports CBS affiliate WUSA in Washington, D.C.

The county, which borders the nation's capital to the southeast, keeps tabs on its water mains with an acoustic monitoring system that can hear breaks in the pips.

water main, maryland
Crews work to reach a faulty water main in southern Maryland

As of Tuesday morning, crews were working to get to a suspected problem area, WUSA reports.

"Residents who live in the affected area, shown in red on the interactive map are being encouraged to stock up on water in preparation for loss of service during repair of the pipe. Mandatory water conservation for people in the affected areas will likely be imposed tomorrow afternoon," officials said in a news release.

The affected areas include Morningside, Hillcrest Heights, Camp Springs, Forest Heights, Temple Hills and Oxon Hill - that includes Joint Base Andrews and the National Harbor.

It is advised to start stocking up with water and fill your tub, WSSC says they know this is a huge inconvenience, especially with the heat we're facing, that's why they want to get the word out. If you know someone who lives in the area, especially the elderly, call them and tell them.

America's aging infrastructure -- much of which was built earlier last century -- has raised many alarm bells among those monitoring it. The water main break in Prince George's country could be just a small sign of a much larger problem facing the country in years to come. As so many local and state governments struggle with shrinking budgets due to the recession, improving sewers and roads is often low among their priorities. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently gave the country's infrastructure system a grade of "D+."