Protect Your Pipes from Freezing in Extreme Cold

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio, –The District wants to remind customers that The District's main office will be closed on Friday, December 23 due to weather and in observance of Christmas Eve.  The District office will also be closed on Monday, December 26 in observance of Christmas.  While our office will be closed, we will have additional staff on call for emergencies.  For after-hours water or sewer emergencies, please contact your county sheriff’s department to dispatch one of our team members.

  • (419) 354 – 9001 – Wood County (select option #9)
  • (419) 422 – 2424 – McComb
  • (419) 592 – 8010 – Henry County

As the holidays' approach and extremely cold temperatures are in the forecast, The Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) offers helpful tips to protect the plumbing inside your home.

Important tips for homeownersAs a homeowner, you are responsible for the water and sewer lines on your property and inside your house.  The District is responsible for lines that start past your property boundary.  Here is some advice to protect water lines during cold weather.

Here are some key steps to take before freezing weather hits:

·Turn off the water to outside faucets, remove hoses, and drain the pipes

·From the inside, cover any open vents with insulation, plastic, or cardboard

·On colder nights, it's a good idea to open cabinet doors to expose pipes to your home’s warmth

·The temperature where water meters and interior pipes are located must be a minimum of 55 degrees

·On very cold nights, let your kitchen or bathroom faucets drip slowly to keep water moving

NOTE: Pipe Insulation works only if the interior living space is heated. To insulate your pipes, you can find the materials you need at your local hardware or plumbing store.If a pipe in your home freezes:

  • Shut off the water immediately. Don't attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
  • Completely open the cold and/or hot water faucet closest to the frozen pipe. This will relieve pressure and reduce the chance of breakage.
  • Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it, or by applying heat directly to a pipe. You can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Be sure not to leave space heaters unattended.
  • Do not use kerosene heaters or open flames to thaw pipes inside your home.
  • Once the pipes have thawed, turn the water back on slowly and check for cracks and leaks.
  • If in doubt, call a registered plumber for help

Short absences

If you will be gone for a relatively short period of time, ask a reliable neighbor to check your property daily.

Be prepared: Store water

A water main break can occur at any time, but especially during winter months. Additionally, meters sometimes can freeze, causing an unexpected water outage. Be prepared: Store water for your household ahead of time. The rule of thumb is to store one-to-two gallons per person, per day, to last at least three days. Remember to store water for your pets!
What if a boil notice is issued due to a pipe burst?

With extreme cold returning to the area, The Northwestern Water and Sewer District (The District) is reminding customers of what do to in case a boil notice is issued.  The District may issue a boil notice following a leak caused by pipes bursting due to cold weather or nearby construction. If a boil notice is issued, you will be notified with hand-delivered door tags. In case of a widespread boil notice, the notification may be given via phone call,, social media, television, and radio.

What should you do if a boil notice 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 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.

Click for a complete Fact Sheet About What to Do During a Boil Advisory