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Colorado Springs Utilities crews are on standby for water main breaks ahead of rapid thaw for the weekend

Posted at 10:09 PM, Dec 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-24 00:09:13-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — It is not just the cold that is damaging, rising temperatures this weekend continue to pose a threat to our underground pipes as well.

The concern for utility companies goes beyond the cold days we have experienced and into the rapid warm-up expected this weekend.

This type of weather behavior often leads to water main breaks. Something Colorado Springs Utilities crews have been preparing for all week.

"There may be water main breaks over the next few days so prepare for that possibility, "said Somer Mese Operations General Manager of CSU. "We've got additional crews on standby and ready to respond with the holiday."

CSU says the most common reason for water main breaks is the rapid freeze/thaw cycle, which causes shifts underground and puts pressure on pipes.

As the temperatures start to heat back up, Mike Robinson from Smith Plumbing also had some advice to stay in the clear after the arctic freeze.

"Know where your emergency shutoff is, number 1. Number 2, know if you have any outside supply lines. Number 3, get down in your crawl space once in a while, or have a licensed plumber go in and take pictures and show you what the condition of the pipe under your house is," Robinson said. "The last one, whether it's weather or not, is please check your water heater."

If you go to turn your faucet on and little to no water comes out, you just may have a frozen pipe. The Red Cross has provided a couple of steps to follow while dethawing.

They say if you know where the pipe is frozen you can warm it up with a heat electric heat source or wrap a towel soaked in hot water around the pipe.

Do not use any sort of kerosene, propane, charcoal, or another open flame source.

You can read more about how to protect your pipes from breaking here.

It can take six to eight hours to fix a water main break, longer if there are issues with repairing the road.

If you spot a water main break report it immediately to your local utility company. In Colorado Springs you can report it from your smartphone using the GoCOS app.

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