NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As extremely cold temperatures make their way to Middle Tennessee, Metro Water Services said they’re anticipating pipe and water main breaks and have already deployed additional crews ready to respond.
The city has about 3,000 miles of underground water main, ranging in size from two inches to 60 inches.
Metro Water Services says since water always moves through the pipes, they don’t typically freeze. However, officials say when the ground gets extremely cold and water from the Cumberland River drops below 40 degrees, the ground can shift and pipes can get brittle, causing breaks.
“Anytime we have extreme temperature changes, Metro Water Services (MWS) is concerned with water main breaks,” said Sonia Allman, manager of strategic communications for Metro Water Services.
In your homes, it’s important to protect your pipes. MWS recommends the following to help prevent potential property damage:
- Wrap interior pipes
- Disconnect garden hoses and cover outdoor spigots
- Close vents in crawl spaces
- Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to move around the pipes
- Trickle water out of faucets to keep water moving
“It may not always prevent pipes from freezing and sometimes we do still have issues inside our home, but it’s always important to remember if you do have a frozen pipe, do not try to thaw it with a torch, it’s always better to thaw it slowly and in a safe manner,” said Allman. “We would recommend a hair dryer.”
Allman recommended finding your water shut off valve ahead of an emergency.
“If you do have a broken pipe or any kind of water emergency, being able to turn that off quickly can save you a lot of property damage,” said Allman.
MWS has an online map available to check the outages crews are responding to. If you experience an outage and find it’s not reported online, you can call the MWS customer service line at 615-862-4600.