Is there anything I can do to prevent my water service lateral from freezing?
A. You should always make sure your lateral and plumbing inside your home or business are shielded and insulated from cold drafts and building interiors are kept warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing. If you have pipes on the interior side of an exterior wall, inside of cabinets, it can help to open the cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.

B. At the time of initial installation of your water service lateral your plumbing contractor should have observed standard practices for minimum bury depth of the water service lateral. If the minimum bury depth could not be met, the water service lateral should have been insulated.

C. In a typical winter season there is really nothing you need to do to prevent the underground part of a water service lateral from freezing, as long as it has been installed properly. In an unusually cold winter when frost depths are greater than normal, utilities sometimes make the judgment call of advising customers to run water as a precautionary measure rather than respond to high numbers of customer freeze-ups. If the underground portion of your water service lateral has a history of freezing, if the Utility feels it may be in danger of freezing, or if it has frozen, the Utility will advise you of measures to take. The most common advice the Utility gives is to continuously run a ¼ inch stream of water (the size of a pencil) until frost has disappeared from the ground. As long as water continues to run at a high enough rate it should not freeze. The Utility offers some additional advice once you have been notified to run water in FAQ #3.

Show All Answers

1. Why do water service laterals freeze, aren’t our pipes buried deep enough?
2. Is there anything I can do to prevent my water service lateral from freezing?
3. If I need to run water for freeze protection, which faucet should I run?
4. Is there any way to tell if my water service lateral is about to freeze?
5. I noticed the signs that my water service lateral might be freezing, what should I do?
6. Who is responsible for thawing a frozen water service lateral?
7. How will I know whether to start or stop running water for freeze prevention?
8. Why doesn’t the Utility just notify everyone to run water to prevent service lateral freeze-ups?
9. My water service lateral has frozen, what do I do?
10. My neighbor’s water service lateral has frozen. I don’t have any problems, but the Utility still wants access to my home. Why?
11. I have been told my water service lateral is non-metallic (i.e. plastic), how can my lateral be thawed?
12. If my water service lateral has frozen, isn’t the Utility obligated to restore my water service in a specific time?
13. I reside in a mobile home park, am I supposed to run water for freeze protection?
14. I live in a rural part of the Village and have a private well for my water and a private septic system for wastewater. Am I supposed to run water?