Seasonal Information

Winter Alert Tips

As cold weather approaches, unprotected water lines become subject to freezing. The Water Resources Department responds to numerous calls each winter for frozen service lines. As well as the inconvenience to the residents, these incidents could be costly.

Please make certain that all areas in your house or basement that have water lines in them are insulated or kept heated during the cold months.

Simple steps for the homeowner to take to help prevent broken pipes due to freezing and resulting water damage to your home.

On an Extremely Cold Day

  • Maintain higher than normal temperatures (3-4 degrees).
  • Open cabinet doors under the sinks. This will allow the heat to warm the pipes. Insulate pipes-Insulation goes a long way toward preventing freeze-ups.
  • Turn on your faucets and let the water trickle constantly.
  • Your exterior faucets used for your garden hoses should be shut off from inside your basement and left open (even if you have freeze-proof sill cocks).

Before the Cold Hits

  • Make sure the smallest hole or crack in the exterior siding is insulated and covered around any water pipes that are on the inside of exterior walls
  • Remember - Frozen pipes aren’t just an inconvenience, families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter all because of water pipes that freeze

Additional Tips to Prevent Costly Water Damage

  • Call the Water Resources Department at (413) 572-6243, if you hear the sound of water running and all your fixtures are off
  • Check and replace washing machine hoses annually
  • Know where your water meter and shut-off valves are located
  • Water heaters, safety valves and washing machines that are located above the first floor or in a finished basement should have drain pans