Water pipes located in a crawlspace or on an outside wall are subjected to sub-freezing temperatures, as are pipes located in a garage, attic or any other unheated building. To help combat this problem and reduce the probability of your pipes freezing and bursting, the Bureau of Utilities recommends the following:

The Bureau also suggests these simple steps to avoid a water leak and damage:

Howard County Offers Tips on How to Keep Pipes from Freezing as Temperatures Dip

Also, to help keep county fire hydrants from freezing and help prevent street flooding, residents are asked to shovel snow away from hydrants in their neighborhood that are covered or obstructed by snow, as well as keeping debris and snow, away from stormwater runoff drains in the roadway.

If your pipes do freeze, the Bureau recommends opening the cold-water faucet nearest the frozen pipe to relieve pressure. Then, use a gentle heat source, such as a light bulb or hair dryer, to thaw the pipe. DO NOT use an open flame.

Residents are also reminded if you experience an issue with your water service or experience a sewage back-up in your home, call the County first to determine if there is a break in the water main or a blockage in the sewer main beyond your property. During regular business hours, residents are instructed to call the Bureau of Utilities at 410-313-4900. After hours and on the weekends, call Central Dispatch at 410-313-2929 which will then notify a county utility worker.

Residents can also stay up-to-date on the latest Bureau of Utilities emergency and upcoming scheduled repairs, as well as other useful information, by visiting the Bureau’s website or signing up for its e-newsletter.