West Contra Costa: EBMUD issues freezing weather precautions

Frozen Pipes

Picture of frozen pipes by Flickr user Jimmy_Joe under Creative Commons attribution license

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is taking predictions of possible freezing weather (maybe even snow) this weekend seriously. The water agency on Wednesday issued tips on how to keep exposed water lines and valves from freezing and possibly cracking.

Customers should “insulate faucets and exposed water pipes leading to and from the house valve, in the garage or in crawl spaces by wrapping them with old towels or foam pipe wrap materials available at hardware stores.”

Damage to automatic irrigation valves can be averted by shutting off the valve in the water line that feeds it. “Then, use your irrigation timer to turn on each valve for a minute to drain water from those pipes.”

If an exposed pipe does freeze, wrap it in an old towel and pour warm water over it. Do not pour boiling water on the pipe.

Don’t try using a blow torch, which could burst the pipe or melt soldered joints.

Service disruptions can be reported to EBMUD by calling 866-403-2683, but the utility warns that it “will not be able to respond to most calls related to frozen pipes.” EBMUD will have standby crews responding to severe main water line breaks or service disruptions.

Chris Treadway