10 ways to protect your water pipes and irrigation system in freezing weather

Frozen Faucet

Photo by Nick Bair (Creative Commons)

With overnight low temperatures forecasted in the 28-31 degree range for much of the coming week, College Station Water Services offers these precautions to help you protect your water pipes and irrigation systems from freezing temperatures:

  1. Drain garden hoses and disconnect them from outside faucets to allow water to drain from the pipe so an overnight freeze doesn’t damage the faucet or the pipe.
  2. If you are concerned about plants, run your irrigation system manually — just enough to water the roots and protect the plants from freezing without causing runoff.
  3. Shut-off and drain in-ground sprinkler systems, including the backflow prevention device, then turn off the water to your sprinkler system.
  4. Wrap or cover exposed PVC pipes and above-ground backflow preventers. Simply turning off the controller will not protect your system against freeze damage.
  5. If you aren’t comfortable performing these steps yourself, call a licensed irrigator.
  6. Be sure your irrigation controller is set to “OFF” and leave it there.
  7. Insulate exposed outside pipes or faucets in unheated areas with Styrofoam covers, rags or paper.
  8. Locate your home’s master water shutoff valve and make sure everyone in your house knows where to find it. The main valve is usually located just past the water meter between the meter and house.
  9. Don’t run your irrigation system after the freeze hits. Any water runoff onto streets and sidewalks can turn to ice and pose a hazard to drivers and pedestrians.
  10. Report suspected water leaks to College Station Utilities 24-Hour Dispatch at 855-528-4278.

For more information, email me at jnations@cstx.gov or call 979-764-6223.

Jennifer Nations

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