AUSTIN, Texas — With the seasonal cold weather quickly approaching, Austin Water is urging residents to prepare for freezing temperatures this season.
The utility provider said it is alerting area residents to prepare after Winter Storm Uri in February left many Texans with burst pipes and, subsequently, without running water for days in some cases.
In order to help Austin Water customers prepare, the utility provider said it is providing free meter keys, hose bib covers and winter preparedness sheets while supplies last. The supplies can be picked up at the North Branch, 8716 Research Blvd. Suite 115, and South Branch, 1901 W. William Cannon Drive Suite 100, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Austin Water also shared a list of tips to help residents be prepared for when the next freeze, major or small, arrives to Central Texas.
Here are the tips provided:
Locate the water shutoff
Austin Water encouraged residents to find their watermain shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles at all times. For most homes, the property owner's shutoff valve is on the resident's side of the water meter at the water box. Renters, however, should consult with property managers, the provider said.
If the shutoff valve cannot be found or is damaged, residents should be ready to find the City shutoff valve in the meter box.
Here's a video provided on how the shutoff can be found:
Weatherize to keep cold air out
Drafty windows, doors and walls should be repaired. All leaks in crawl spaces and basements should be sealed. Unheated spaces should be winterized and homeowners should get supplies to cover vents on the home's foundation.
Weatherize exposed pipes and water heaters
Pipes should be insulated in unheated and drafty areas, like the garage and attic. Residents should also check manufacturer recommendations for tanked and tankless water heaters. Austin Water said residents should buy supplies now to be ready to wrap pipes and water heaters when a winter storm is approaching.
Austin Water is encouraging residents to turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to help conserve water. Prepare supplies to wrap outside faucets with towels or an insulator.
Gather supplies to be prepared
Austin Water encouraged residents to gather supplies to be prepared for when severe winter weather arrives. Those supplies and tools include a water meter key, insulation for pipes, hose bib covers, battery-powered radios and flashlights, and one gallon of water per person and per pet for seven days.
Austin Water encouraged residents to download the Ready Central Texas mobile app, sign up for alerts online, follow Austin Water on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and save the 24-hour emergency hotline number of 512-972-1000, option 1.
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