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Our Opinion: Continue to keep an eye on frozen pipes

Published 9:36am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

As the snow and ice thaw, we hope residents continue to check for frozen pipes, and to report anything wrong with their water to Austin Utilities.

This winter is among the coldest on record, which has meant far more weather-related issues than normal. Arguably the most pressing issue has been the amount of frozen water lines reported to Austin Utilities.

Last week, Utilities General Manager Mark Nibaur said there were still 113 frozen water lines in Austin — at least, that’s the known number. The actual number could be higher or lower. Residents may not think to inform the local utility once their line thaws, and some residents may have waited to report their water lines are frozen.

Frozen lines are a serious health issue and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Utilities workers can’t do much to thaw frozen pipes but they do need to track which lines aren’t working properly.

If you’re having issues, report it. If your pipes start to work again, report it. Nibaur and other officials also recommend taking your water’s temperature, and we see no reason to stop that practice now since the frost has yet to disappear. Residents should check to see if their water is running colder than 40 degrees, and leave one faucet on continuously until the water heats up or until outside temperatures rise.

We hope as much as anyone else the spring comes sooner than later, but we still should keep an eye on frozen pipes.

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