The City of St. Catharines has good advice for all, not just its own residents:
Winter has arrived but it’s not too late to prepare your home for the cold temperatures.
One of the lesser-known effects of cold weather is the potential for the extreme cold to freeze underground utilities like water lines. Water lines are at risk for freezing when extremely cold weather leads to deeper than normal frost levels. Most water lines are safely buried 1.5 metres underground, below the frost line of a typical winter. However, periods of extreme cold temperature can cause the frost line to move deeper underground, putting water lines at risk for freezing.
If residents haven’t done so yet they can get their home ready for winter by following these tips:
Use caulk or insulation to seal air leaks throughout the home, garage and especially in the area near the water line. Be certain to look for air leaks around electrical wiring, dryer vents and pipes.
Insulate water lines inside the home with pipe sleeves, especially in unheated areas like crawl spaces, basements, attics and storage rooms.
Disconnect, drain and shut off all outdoor hoses and faucets.
Insulate all exposed outside water pipes with foam pipe covers.
If water lines are in cupboards or closets, open the cupboard or closet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the water line.
Set the thermostat to at least 12C (55F) and leave the furnace on, even at night and when not at home.
Frozen water lines can leave a home without running water for days. Residents should ensure their emergency preparedness kits have enough bottled water and supplies for everyone in the home for at least 72 hours.
Residents of St. Catharines who experience frozen water lines are asked to call Citizens First at 905.688.5600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information visit www.stcatharines.ca/WaterLines.