Cold temperatures are around the corner, which means that frozen meters are a possibility. Over the years, we have searched for preventative solutions. We have not found a simple solution to eliminate the problem. We have looked at everything from different types of insulation to eliminating the meter pits altogether and having the water meter located in warm, conditioned spaces in homes.
A simple way of looking at the problem is that if the line and meter are not kept in a warm place, the only heat that will keep them from freezing is the water itself. That heat does not last long if water is not moving. You can keep your water moving by allowing a small stream of cold water to run. The City does not offer any type of a credit for water customers that choose to do this. We understand that this can be costly, but it does offer a solution to prevent frozen meters. Also, if you do not use water regularly throughout the day, running your cold water a few minutes or running your dishwasher and/or washing machine at night can help as well.
One common factor causing meters to freeze is the lack of use, especially if a resident is gone for a length of time. The longer you are gone, the higher the chance the water meter could freeze. In an effort to address the freezing problem, the Public Works Department offers to turn off the water and remove the meter for residents that will be absent for an extended period of time. Upon your return, Public Works will restore the water service. This service is offered once annually free of charge and is available during our normal hours of operation, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For those that choose to use this service, we require you are present or have someone with access to the home to be present when the water is restored so we can ensure there is not a leak inside the home.
It is also important that our residents and property owners are aware of the hours in which Public Works will come out and thaw frozen water meters. Those hours are as follows: Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you discover a frozen meter after hours you will be placed on the next day’s service schedule. All frozen meter service calls are addressed in the order they are received.
The meter pits and water meters are the property of the City of Salida. Anyone who accesses the meter pit without the approval of the Public Works Department is responsible for any damage and costs associated with the needed repairs. If your water is turned off for any reason, it is illegal for you or a plumber to break the lock on the water meter and restore service. If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact Public Works by calling 719-539-6257