Stay tuned here to the latest alerts from your water utility.

Subscribe to have News & Notices, and Alerts delivered via email or text!  Just another way we are working to better serve our community.

Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

El Dorado Water Utility urges you to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

Every winter season, hundreds of our customers report damage to their pipes from freezing conditions. Low temperatures can cause your water pipes to freeze, and in some cases burst. The El Dorado Water Utility offers the following tips that can help you safeguard your home before, during and after a pipe freezes.

Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

  • Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
  • Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.)
  • Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.
  • Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
  • Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows.
  • Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.

Monitor Freezing Pipe Conditions

  • Allow a faucet to drip slightly (lukewarm water) in order to minimize freezing.
  • The first sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
  • Check your faucets for water flow and pressure before you go to sleep and again when you wake up.
  • Check pipes around your water meter, in unheated areas, near exterior walls and in crawl spaces.
  • These tend to be vulnerable to freezing conditions.
  • Identify cold air drafts coming in from a flue or chimney chase and caulk gaps that are near pipes. 

If a Pipe Freezes

  • If a faucet or pipe inside your house freezes, you can thaw it using a good hair dryer. (For safety purposes, avoid operating a hair dryer around standing water.)
  • To thaw a frozen pipe, heat water on the stove, soak towels in the hot water and wrap them around cold sections of the pipes.
  • When thawing a pipe, start thawing it nearest to the faucet. Make sure the faucet is turned on so that melted water can drip out. 

If a Pipe Bursts

  • Shut off water at the main valve.
  • If the break is in a hot water pipe, the valve on top of the water heater should be closed.
  • Call a plumber. Keep an emergency number nearby for quick access.

These are examples of safety precautions you can consider to help prepare yourself, others and your personal property for winter freeze. Please recognize that a particular precaution may not be appropriate or effective in every circumstance. We encourage you to use your own good judgment about what's appropriate.

Leaky Toilets Cost You Money!

Leaky toilets are the number one source of water leaks in most homes.  When working properly, the water in a toilet should only escape from the tank when the toilet is flushed.  But a toilet in need of service can leak thousands of gallons of water a month into the bowl and down the drain- costing you a lot of money on your water bill.  El Dorado Water Utility has a simple way for you to check your toilets for leaks.  We are offering free of charge, dye tablets that will help you determine if your toilet is leaking.  Drop one dye tablet in the tank and wait twenty minutes (without flushing).  If the water in the bowl turns blue, you have a leak.  If you discover a leak, the internal mechanism in the tank needs to be adjusted or replaced.  You may want to consider replacing an old high-water use toilet with a new water efficient one.  These can be purchased for as little as $100 locally and these water efficient toilets use only about one gallon per flush as compared to as much as six gallons per flush for older models.  To check your toilets for a leak, stop by our office (8am to 4pm, Monday through Friday) and ask for a free package of dye tablets.