FREEZE WARNING: TAKE MEASURES TO PROTECT IRRIGATION AND WATER SYSTEMS

11.24.2021

This notice is to all water customers of Brunswick County Public Utilities.

Customers are advised to take precautions to protect their household and irrigation water systems from freezing.

Tips to prevent burst water pipes and costly repairs in your home:
  • It is recommended to insulate pipes in unheated areas of your home and crawl spaces.  You can seal any openings in crawl spaces including the air vents, as necessary.
  • Always be aware of the main water shut-off valve location for your home in case you should experience a burst pipe and need to turn off your water.
  • If you do not know the location or do not have a shut-off valve, keep the Brunswick County Public Utilities numbers (910-253-2657 / 910-371-3490 / 910-454-0512) or your local water provider close by in case the water needs to be turned off at the meter due to a burst pipe.
  • Disconnect water hoses from outdoor spigots.
  • You can open doors to cabinets below sinks to help warmer air circulate around plumbing at night.  Some recommend letting a small amount of water drip from faucets to help keep water moving in the pipes to prevent freezing or to help during the thawing process to relieve stress on the pipes.  Also towels soaked in warm water can be used to help the thawing process of any frozen spots, use caution as to not create other slip or trip hazards and damage to the home.

Caution: If your water lines do freeze, be careful when thawing the lines. Do not apply excessive heat which may damage pipes or cause a fire. Heating devices with open flames should not be used. Electric heaters and heat tape should be powered through a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) in case the device comes into contact with standing or spraying water.

Tips to protect your backflow devises and irrigations systems (if you have them):

Exposed backflow assemblies for irrigation systems should be drained and removed.

Inspect the backflow assembly covers for cracks, holes, and splits and make sure that the cover fits securely to the ground to prevent air infiltration if the assembly remains in place or in use for the winter.

If you do not or cannot remove the backflow assembly, drain the assembly of all water for the winter.  The irrigation systems should be turned off at the shut-off valve and lines drained.  Open the test cocks and shut-off valves on the assembly to discharge any water, leave the valves open 1/8th of a turn.  Fully closed or fully open valves will trap water behind the ball in the valve and that could lead to freezing and damage to the valve.

Wrap old blankets or beach towels around the assembly for added protection during peak cold temperatures if needed.

Exposed water lines to fixtures, such as outside showers, should be isolated and drained. Pour a small amount of RV/Marine antifreeze (Prestone, Peak, or equivalent) into drains/toilets that may be subject to freezing. Do not use standard automotive antifreeze/coolant.

Turn off irrigation systems to avoid creating icy sidewalks and driveways.  If you must irrigate your lawn, it is best to do this when temperatures are above freezing.

AGAIN, you should be aware of the location for the main irrigation shut-off valve and/or you should keep the Brunswick County Public Utilities phone number, or your local water provider, on hand in case of any burst irrigation lines. (910-253-2657 / 910-371-3490 / 910-454-0512)