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Public Works Officials Warn Of Frozen Pipe Problems

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Baltimore City Department of Public Works is reminding residents of pipe-protection protocol blustery snowstorm conditions.

The cold weather could harm water infrastructure during long periods when cold weather swings back and forth between freezing and thawing temperatures, according to city officials.

"Water service lines and water meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time," the department noted in a press statement. "Sub-freezing temperatures can also impact water mains, causing the ground to buckle and shift, resulting in broken water lines."

The department on Sunday shared its annual tips for protecting pipes as a snowstorm swept across Maryland.

  • Let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of a pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later.
  • If your interior pipe is frozen, warm it with hot air from a blow dryer where it enters your house.
  • Know the location of the water shutoff valve in your home. Check it periodically to ensure it works properly.
  • Shut off water to outside faucets.
  • Monitor your sump pump. A frozen drainpipe could result in a flooded basement.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated parts of your house. Be alert if you have had frozen pipes in the past.
  • Keep bottled water on hand.
  • Consider getting a service protection policy for your exterior water/sewer lines. Baltimore has partnered with HomeServe USA to provide this low-cost protection. Please visit for details.
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