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Dripping taps and conserving water in the winter



Little Rock, Arkansas – Due to the recent below-freezing temperatures in Arkansas, utility companies are advising their customers to save water to preserve the water supply and take preventative measures to avoid burst pipes.

Customers in Pine Bluff, White Hall, Woodson, and Hensley received a notice from Liberty Utilities on Thursday.

Vice President of Liberty Utilities Tony Penna stated that the reason for the release was that they were pumping more than 30% more water than usual.

“It’s an older system. It serves our community well,” Penna said. “But if people were at home, water was being used [and] we’re pumping up 30% over our norm [and] that’s not something we can do on a sustained basis.”

Penna explained that when the temperatures are below freezing, faucets should drip as a method to help prevent pipes from bursting.

Liberty Utilities listed ways for people to protect their pipes at home or business from freezing.

Penna clarified that the purpose of drippy faucets is to assist keep pipes from bursting when the temperature drops below freezing.

Liberty Utilities provided a list of tips on how to prevent frozen pipes in homes and businesses.

• Leave cabinet doors open to allow for additional heat and leave a small amount of water dripping from your faucets. Remember, water should be set to a trickle. Faucets do not have to be fully open. Once temperatures are above freezing, you can turn off your faucets to conserve.
• Inspect all pipes for signs of leaks. If damage is discovered, turn off your water at your main valve/shut off and call a licensed plumber for assistance.
• If a pipe freezes, shut off the water immediately, but keep the faucet open. You can thaw pipes by applying warm air with a hair dryer or space heater (do not leave the space heater unattended) until full pressure is restored. Be sure to turn the water back on slowly, and check pipes for leaks that might have been caused by freezing.

Penna pointed out that taps ought to be shut off when the temperature rises above freezing.

“One running the water, you’re not getting any value for your money,” Penna said. “And two, we can’t find leaks, if everyone’s using water, because we don’t know where it’s going.”

A list of strategies for water conservation was provided by Liberty Utilities:

• Only run full loads in the dishwasher or washing machine – postpone this activity if possible.
• Take a brief, five-minute shower, which takes approximately 10 gallons of water, rather than a bath, which can take approximately 30 gallons of water.
• Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.

Penna advised anyone to get in touch with their utility company if they see a water leak.

Online sources claim that water leaks can seriously harm building components, such as walls, ceilings, and floors, and that they may eventually cause the foundation to deteriorate and become weaker due to the spread of mold.


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