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Posted on: January 17, 2019

Important Winter Reminders from the Department of Public Works

Important Winter Reminders from the Department of Public Works

Water Pipes & Water Meters

Due to the extreme cold winter weather, the Department of Public Works would like to remind our residents of ways to avoid frozen water pipes and meters. Property owners are responsible for protecting their water pipes and water meter (interior or exterior) from cold air and wind.

Follow these tips to keep the water safely flowing to your taps all winter long.

  • Check water pipes near uninsulated or drafty walls, doors, floors and windows, including in your basement, garage or attic. Add insulation wherever you can. Insulating or wrapping pipes can also help protect against freezing.
  • Keep all exterior doors and windows tightly closed. Fill cracks in walls and around doors and windows.
  • Keep garage doors and windows closed, especially if you have an attached garage.
  • Locate the main shut-off valve to your home. Show all household members how to turn it off if a pipe bursts in your home.
  • Keep heat on at all times and keep the temperature set well above freezing.
  • Open cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around pipes along outside walls.
  • In extremely cold temperatures, let faucets drip.
  • If your water meter is in an outdoor pit, check to see that the pit cover fits properly and has no cracks through which cold air can flow.
  • Never use a torch or open flame to thaw a pipe.
  • If you see or suspect damage to your water pipes, call a licensed plumber for assistance.
  • If you see or suspect a frozen or damaged water meter, please call the Department of Public Works Water Department at (518) 439-4955 option 4.

Fire Hydrant Clearing

The Town of Bethlehem has over 1600 fire hydrants spread out over many miles of the water distribution system. If you have a fire hydrant in front of or close to your property, please help to ensure the visibility and accessibility of the fire hydrant. Snow can reduce visibility, access and hinder the use of a fire hydrant, so keeping them clear at all times is imperative.  Please help to keep the fire hydrants clear and your neighborhood safe.

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