Water Main Breaks & Changing Temperatures Progress!
Tuesday Dec 31st, 2019
When our region goes through freeze and thaw cycles, especially when accompanied by heavy rain, the ground shifts and pipes break. Yesterday, we had over 25 broken mains to repair using our DPW crews and contractors for the work. As some mains were repaired, others broke, often many miles away. We kept at the repair work all night long.
This morning we were at 17 broken mains, and weather permitting, that number will drop. We ask our customers to please be patient as we make our way to you neighborhoods.
Baltimore City Department of Public Works reminds customers to be prepared for ANY weather emergency. That starts by keeping several gallons of bottled water on hand to meet your needs for a day or two. Water main breaks can impact water service, but electrical outages to pumping stations might also keep water from reaching your home. One branch breaking under the strain of ice can cause problems for thousands.
Remember: water service lines and water meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time. Such conditions can also impact water mains, causing the ground to buckle and shift, resulting in broken water lines.
Here are a few tips to help protect your water service lines during periods of cold weather:
· Insulate pipes located in unheated parts of your house. This is especially a good tip for those who have had frozen pipes in the past.
· Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later as laundry or dish water.
· If a pipe should freeze, gently warm it with hot air from a blow dryer at the point where it enters the house.
· Be sure you know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure that it works properly.
· Be sure to shut off water to outside faucets.
· Periodically monitor your sump pump. A frozen drain pipe could result in a flooded basement.
· Keep bottled water on hand. Plan on needing a gallon of water per person per day.
The Department of Public Works maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter.
For water emergencies call 311, or 410-396-5352 in Baltimore County.
To track our progress, see our interactive water main break map.