Although South Georgia doesn’t maintain freezing temperatures throughout the winter season, there are spikes of low to freezing temperatures in the forecast that cause some concern for city streets and residential/commercial water systems.
The City of Valdosta Engineering Department is requesting that city residents turn off their irrigation sprinklers in preparation for the low to freezing temperatures forecasted for tonight and through the weekend.
“We want to especially avoid any sprinklers from spraying onto city streets, which could ice over during the freezing temperatures and potentially cause vehicular accidents,” said Traffic Manager Larry Ogden.
Residents should also prepare their water systems for the possibility of freezing temperatures. Remember, when water freezes, it expands. Freezing temperatures, even for a short period of time, may lead to fractured water pipes.
“Even brief spikes of freezing temperatures may cause damage to citizens’ house pipes as well as their pocket books,” said Utilities Director Henry Hicks. “This will most likely not be the only freeze we will get this winter, so now is the best time to prepare for it.”
The Utilities Department offers the following tips for citizens to prevent frozen house pipes this winter.
- Be sure pipes in unheated parts of your home, including crawl spaces, are insulated. Foam insulation for water pipes can be found at any home improvement or hardware store. The foam is typically split down the middle so it can be easily wrapped around the exposed pipes.
- Remove hoses from outside faucets and be sure they are drained and shut off.
- Advise all household members where the main shut-off valve is located in case of an emergency.
- If you will be away from home for an extended time, shut off the water supply and drain the system.
- If you have experienced problems in the past during freezing periods, keep a trickle of water running from the faucet highest in the house. This trickle should be a steady stream the size of the lead in a pencil.
- Insulate or cover exposed backflow prevention devices on fire lines and irrigation systems.
- Commercial water customers should also wrap any fire lines in their buildings. Disconnect any outside water hoses from spigots, as water trapped inside can freeze and crack the hose.
Citizens who follow these simple winterization tips may prevent fractured water pipes and costly plumbing repairs. For more information, contact the Utilities Department at 229-259-3592.