The Macon Water Authority
790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600
As Macon Water Authority customers anticipate falling temperatures during the winter months, they also should take precautions to winterize their outdoor pipes and irrigation systems, to save time, money, and water later.
Since most grass is dormant during the winter months, MWA customers are likely to decrease their outdoor watering accordingly. As a result, it's difficult to assess any pipe damage that may occur during the winter, primarily from water remaining in an exposed outdoor water line, and that bad news is not likely to show up until spring. But winterizing those outdoor water lines can prevent potential pipe freezing -- and subsequent water line bursts -- from occurring in the future.
According to sources at the University of Georgia Cooperative Extensive Service, most in-ground pipes will be OK during the winter, since typically only the top two inches of ground will freeze in Georgia. Other household components, such as backflow-prevention valves, which are at ground level, may be in danger.
To prevent exposed valves, pipes, and irrigation systems from freezing, consider these tips:
* Tape them -- many home improvement retailers have tapes, foams, and other products for sale to use in these instances.
* Wrap them as well, with a sack or protective material.
* Drain your entire sprinkler system, as the tips of sprinkler heads throughout the entire sprinkler system often continue to hold water, even when inactive.
* (Arrangements should have been made during installation to have a way to drain lines that hold water, according to UGA sources. Look for a drain valve on homes with pre-installed irrigation systems, and some systems are equipped with automatic drain valves.)
Additional tips for outdoor faucets and garden hoses include:
* Disconnect garden hoses from all outdoor water faucets, allowing water to drain from frost-free faucets.
* After disconnecting and draining garden hoses, store them in a place with consistent (warmer) temperatures. (If hoses are left without draining, do not move them or handle them during freezing temperatures, as they may be brittle and can be damaged.)
* If a faucet is not frost free, find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space where the pipe feeds the faucet going to the outside of the home or building.
* Shut off this valve feeding this outdoor line.
* Open the outside faucet to make sure it drains after the valve feeding this outdoor line has been cut off.
* Should a pipe burst due to freezing or under any other circumstances, always know how to shut off your main water line servicing your home or building.
For more information on winterizing your home or additional wise water use tips, contact the Macon Water Authority at 478-464-5600, or check out the Web site of the UGA Cooperative Extension Service.
Macon Water Authority
790 Second St.
P.O. Box 108
Macon, GA 31202-0108
- (478) 464-5600
- (478) 741-9146