Photo by PoPville flickr user ep_jhu
Ed. Note: Pun intended?
From DC Water:
“Bitter Cold January Causes Flood of Water Emergency Calls
January’s bitter cold may have driven many people indoors, but for DC Water’s repair crews, there was no escape. They were out in the field, in single-digit temperatures, responding to three times as many water main breaks and leaks as in a usual month. DC Water repaired nearly 90 water main breaks and 40 leaks, when average is about 29 per month. The cold temperatures and fluctuations in temperature caused so much stress to water infrastructure that on some days, call center staff responded to up to 10 times the average number of emergency calls. DC Water answered 11,700 emergency calls in January, compared to the norm of 3,250.
In the month, there were nearly 1,000 calls about broken pipes and other indoor plumbing emergencies, which are typically handled by residents or their plumbers. But DC Water helped many callers locate their emergency shut-off valves or pointed them to information on how to gently thaw their frozen pipes. In some cases, DC Water even deployed crews to shut off water at the meter when requested by homeowners who couldn’t find their shut off valves and whose homes were flooding.
DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins said, “I am always inspired by our dedicated crews who brave extreme weather conditions to ensure critical service to our customers. They, and our call center and customer service staff, truly rose to the occasion over the past month.”