At this time last year, the greater Utica area experienced frigid temperatures. With the cold weather already upon us, the Mohawk Valley Water Authority is gearing up for whatever this winter brings.
“It was just this past winter where we were getting 6 or 7 water main breaks a day,” said Executive Director of MVWA, Patrick Becher. “We were actually to the point of where we were calling in outside crews, because our men were just exhausted.”
According to Becher, breaks can lose thousands if not millions gallons of water. He also mentioned that there is really not much that can be done due to the age of the pipes.
“We have a lot of pipes some of which are 100 to 150 years old,” said Becher.
When there is a water main break, the MVWA sends out first responders to treat the area which is affected. First they shut off the water on the street, then they dig, find the leak, and repair.
“Unfortunately they are not predictable, we never know where they may show up but we are ready for when it happens,” said Becher.
Freezing pipes are something to be conscious of in your very own house. The MVWA has a list of tips to follow:
1. Insolate your pipes with pipe insulation.
2. Run a faucet on a slow trickle.
3. Keep your water meter warm.
4. If you see water emerging out of the ground a break is possible.
It is important to remember to never use an open flame to thaw pipes. If you experience any frozen pipes the agency recommends to call them at (315)-792-0301.