Illinois American Water Urges Customers to Prepare for Extreme Cold

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With extremely cold temperatures expected in the coming days, Illinois American Water is reminding homeowners to take steps to prevent frozen pipes. These tips can also help protect the local water team as they perform critical work for reliable, safe water service. 

Customers should: 

  • Allow a small trickle of water to run overnight to keep pipes from freezing. Customers should 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. 

Vice President of Operations Elizabeth Matthews said, “These two tips are most important. Not only do they help residents keep their home plumbing safe, but they also support our team in the field. Many times, when pipes freeze, customers will assume there is an issue with their water service and call our team to inspect. This can place demand on our team members who are working hard in the field to keep water flowing.” 

If in-home 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 from home, 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 reminded to keep snow cleared away from fire hydrants located near their residence. This can help local fire fighters in the event of an emergency. Illinois American Water also encourages customers to update their Illinois American Water account contact information 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 information. 

About Illinois American Water – Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. 

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