Prepare Your Plumbing for Extreme Cold

The Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) wants you to be prepared as brutally cold temperatures are in the forecast.  Prepare your plumbing using the following cold weather tips to protect your water pipes from bursting:

  • Locate and label your water-shutoff valve. This will allow you to easily identify where to turn off the water in case of an emergency.
  • Insulate indoor water pipes that are close to exterior walls.
  • Keep the doors to cabinets with pipes inside them open.
  • Allow a faucet to drip to relieve pressure & prevent pipes from bursting.
  • Apply heating tape and/or insulation to water pipes.
  • Keep your heat on. This is especially important if you own vacant property. Keeping the heat set above 50 degrees is recommended.
  • Keep the number of a plumber who does emergency calls handy.  As a homeowner, you are responsible for the plumbing inside your home.  

The District is responsible for service lines, generally located in or near your street.  Should one of our pipes burst due to cold, The District may issue a boil notice. If a boil notice is issued, you will be notified with hand-delivered door tags.  In case of a widespread boil notice, notification may be given via phone call,, social media, television, and radio.  District customers are encouraged to review their contact information on our CodeRED notification system.According to District Assistant Superintendent, Simon Gundy, “In most cases, issuing a Boil Water Notice is a precautionary measure for the safety of our customers. The chances of water contamination are remote, but we don’t want to take risks when it comes to your family’s health.”

What should you do if a boil advisory is issued?

  • Do not consume your water without boiling it first.
  • Use boiled or bottled water for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice.
  • Bring water to a vigorous, rolling boil and then boil for two minutes, and don’t forget to cool the water before consuming it.
  • Instead of boiling, you may purchase bottled water or obtain water from some other suitable source, such as The WaterShed.