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As Temperatures Drop, Illinois American Water Urges Customers to Prepare for Cold Weather

Belleville, Ill. (Nov. 30, 2020) – With colder weather arriving across the state, Illinois American Water is reminding homeowners to take steps to prevent water damage from frozen and burst pipes.

Before temperatures are below freezing customers should:
 Check sprinkler or irrigation systems. Make sure you have turned everything off and fully drained systems.
 Identify your home’s freezing points. Check your home for pipes in areas that may be prone to freezing, such as crawl spaces, unheated rooms, basements, garages and exterior walls.
 Know the location of the main water shut-off valve. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut off water immediately.
 Protect your pipes and water meters. Customers are encouraged to wrap exposed pipes with insulation. For outside meters, keep the lid to the meter pit closed tightly.

When temperatures stay below freezing customers should:
 Prevent pipes from freezing. Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing.
Consider collecting the water for later use such as watering indoor plants and more. The cost of a short-term trickle is much less costly than a repair to a burst pipe.
 Open cabinet doors to expose pipes. Opening cabinet doors exposes pipes to warmer room temperatures.

If pipes freeze customers should:
 Shut off the water immediately and not attempt to thaw frozen pipes unless the water is shut off. Freezing can often cause unseen cracks in pipes or joints.
 Apply heat to the frozen pipe by warming the air around it. Customers can use a hair dryer, space heater or hot water. Space heaters should not be left unattended, and customers should avoid using kerosene heaters or open flames.
 Once pipes thaw, water should be turned on slowly and pipes should be checked for cracks and leaks.

When customers are away, they should:
 Have a friend, relative or neighbor regularly check their property to ensure the heat is working and the pipes have not frozen.
 Consider purchasing a freeze alarm. The alarm will call a user-selected phone number if the inside temperature drops below 45 degrees.

Customers are also encouraged to ensure their contact information is up to date to receive important water service information should their service be impacted. Customers can manage their account online at illinoisamwater.com. They can also call 800.422.2782 to update contact information.

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