Warming Temperatures Mean Reduction of Main Breaks BUT - More Winter to Come!
Tuesday Jan 9th, 2018
This week will see an increase in daytime temperatures in our region which means that the BIG FREEZE is ending. Water service lines and meters will slowly thaw, and with the gradual warm-up, water main breaks should return to seasonal norms.
The Baltimore City Department of Public Works, and our contractors, are making rapid progress in repairing broken mains and addressing related issues such as leaking valves and frozen meters. The current number of broken mains is approximately 90, which is a decrease of 15 from this time yesterday. We are anticipating the number of repairs that we complete to accelerate throughout the week as temperatures moderate, thus improving the working environment and reducing the stress on the mains.
WINTER IS NOT OVER
Just because we are having a thaw does not mean that winter has ended. Indeed, this Sunday and Monday will see the return of very cold temperatures. If you have experienced frozen water lines at your home or business, please pay special attention to the following list of ways to prevent this from happening again:
- Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later.
- If your interior pipe is frozen, warm it with hot air from a blow dryer where it enters your house. You may also consider using heat tape, available at hardware stores, to keep exposed pipes from freezing.
- Be sure you know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure it works properly.
- Be sure to disconnect and drain hoses, and shut off water to outside faucets.
- Monitor your sump pump. A frozen drain pipe could result in a flooded basement.
- Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your house. Be alert if you have had frozen pipes in the past.
- Always keep on hand a three day supply of bottled water; one gallon per person per day.
- Consider getting a service protection policy for your exterior water/sewer lines. Baltimore City has partnered with HomeServe USA to provide this low cost protection. Please visit BaltimoreServiceRepairs.com.
Further details are available at http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm/frozen-pipes. Also please be aware that as frozen pipes thaw out, new problems could emerge if the pipes have been damaged by the ice expanding inside of them.
As a reminder, DPW maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. Water lines running from the meter to the house, and internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner. For water emergencies in Baltimore City, please call 311, or call 410-396-5352 in our Baltimore County service area.