Monday, November 28, 2022

City of Austin Utilities Help Customers Prepare for Winter Weather

Austin Water, Austin Energy and the City of Austin Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management are helping customers take steps now to prepare for the upcoming winter season. Meter keys, hose bib covers, hand-crank flashlights, emergency preparedness kit materials and winter preparedness tip sheets will be provided by the City. Customers can pick up these supplies, while they last, at City of Austin Utilities Customer Service Centers (UCSC) this week and again in January:
North UCSC:     
8716 Research Blvd., Suite 115
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022 and Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. – or while supplies last
East UCSC:     
Rosewood-Zaragosa Center
2800 Webberville Road
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022 and Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. – or while supplies last
South UCSC:     
1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Suite 100
Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022 and Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. – or while supplies last
Customers are also urged to tune in for emergency alerts by:

Tips to prepare your pipes for freezing weather:
Austin Water encourages customers to take steps now to prepare for winter. Following a few, easy steps now will help customers protect their property and prevent damage when freezing weather does arrive in Austin.

1. Locate your water shutoff.
Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles at all times. For most homes, the property owner’s shutoff valve is on your side of the water meter at the meter box. For renters, please consult with your property manager. If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, then you should be prepared to access the City shutoff valve in the meter box in an emergency. You may need a water meter key to open the meter box, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.
Watch a video about how to locate your water shutoff.

2. Weatherize to keep out cold air.
Make repairs to broken or drafty windows, doors, and walls. Seal all leaks in crawl spaces and basements. Winterize unheated spaces and be prepared to close garage doors for the duration of the freeze. Gather supplies to cover vents on your home’s foundation.

3. Weatherize exposed pipes and water heaters.
Prepare to insulate pipes in unheated and drafty areas, such as an attic or garage. Also check manufacturer recommendations for your tanked and tankless water heaters. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to help keep pipes from freezing. Get all supplies now so you are ready to wrap pipes and water heaters when a winter storm is approaching.

4. Learn how to drip faucets properly.
After the measures above are taken, drip one cold water faucet slowly if you feel your pipes may still freeze. The faucet you choose should be the one that is the greatest distance from your main shutoff valve. It does not need to be a running trickle. If you do drip your faucet, capture the water for future use. 
Watch a video about how to drip faucets properly.

5. Outside faucets.
Austin Water encourages all customers to turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to help conserve water. Prepare supplies to wrap outside faucets with towels or a Styrofoam insulator.

6. Gather supplies to be prepared.
Having one gallon of water per person and pet per day for seven days on hand to help avoid the rush at stores when the first winter storm of the season approaches.

Learn more about how to stay warm and stay safe this winter here.

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