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Don't Let Your Pipes Catch Cold This Winter

Preventing Frozen Pipes

  • Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warmer air to circulate.
  • Don't set your thermostat lower than 55 degrees.
  • Disconnect the garden hose. Turn off the indoor valve and drain the water to outdoor faucets.
  • Insulate water lines inside your house. Use preformed foam tubes, weatherproof insulation, or heat tape. Focus on water lines near exterior walls or in unheated areas.
  • If you'll be away for a few days, turn off the water supply at the meter.
  • Temperatures Below Zero: Let a thin stream of water flow. Note that you will be charged for the water consumption; but consider the cost of water damage repair vs. cost of usage.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

If some faucets and appliances are dry and others still work, a water line is frozen inside the building. Run a damp rag along exposed water pipes. Likely areas are near exterior walls or in unheated areas. Your ice plug is where you see the frost appear.

  • Thaw the pipe out slowly using a hair dryer
  • Don't thaw the pipe with an open flame or torch
  • And be extremely careful of electric shock in areas of standing water

Do You Know Where Your Water Meter is Located?

Know the location so you can turn off the water supply in an emergency. Look for the black touch pad outside of your home. The water meter is most likely inside the home, in the basement, near the area of the touch pad or where the water line enters your home.

If your meter is located in a closet or a boxed-in area, open the doors or access panels to allow air to circulate.

Fire Hydrants  - Help Us Stand Out From the Crowd

If there is a hydrant on or near your property, please keep it clear of obstructions for safety reasons.

Fire Hydrants in Cranberry Township shall be accessible to the Fire Department as follows:
  • Keep area clear 2 ft. behind, 5 ft. on sides, and 8 ft. above the top of the fire hydrant.
  • Nothing should be between the fire hydrant and the street.
 Fire Hydrant Clearance Guidelines

Stay Safe - Help Keep Costs Low -- Report Theft!

There are over 1,100 fire hydrants located throughout Cranberry Township, regularly maintained by Township Sewer and Water personnel. While the primary function of these hydrants is to provide emergency water for extinguishing fires, it is not uncommon for a contractor or home builder to request permission to connect to a fire hydrant, as it may be the only source of water in undeveloped areas. Cranberry Township strictly monitors the water distribution and collection systems, but theft of water from these emergency systems can occur. Township Sewer and Water Personnel will always wear a Township-issued shirt, carry approved ID, and travel in white or blue vehicles with Cranberry Township logos. Contractors who are granted permission to connect to a hydrant will use a specially assigned construction meter to monitor their usage. 

If you witness any suspicious persons attempting to make a connection to a hydrant, or using a hydrant without a construction meter, please contact either Cranberry Township Sewer and Water Field Operations Manager, Joseph Leavens, or dial 9-1-1 for police. This includes any individual who is not: a firefighter or emergency service provider, a Cranberry Township Sewer & Water Employee, or an approved permittee. 

Additionally, if any individual enters or attempts to enter your property with regard to water or sewer related utilities you are encouraged to request identification. It is not recommended that you grant permission to any individual who is not identifiable as a Cranberry Township Sewer and Water Employee or Township-approved contractor/employee. Use discretion, and if at any time you feel threatened or invaded by an unidentified "worker", call 9-1-1.

 Air in the Water

It is not uncommon to see this trend in the winter months. Most likely, there is no cause for alarm. Here are a few possible explanations for water that appears white, milky, or cloudy, or has air bubbles or seems to fizz:

1. Shut down of water mains or low main pressure – air bubbles may be present in water after there has been a break or draining of a water main.  

2. Water can absorb more air at higher water pressures- When this water that is under pressure experiences a reduction in pressure (when water leaves a spigot to fill a glass) it releases air bubbles and that results in a milky appearance

3. Temperature changes -Cold water can hold greater amounts of air than warm water.  Therefore, air is released upon warming cold water saturated with air.  The air released is the form of small air bubbles, which gives the water a milky or carbonated appearance.

4. Hot water tank malfunction or when thermostat is set higher than 140 F - water releases air bubbles when heated.  For this reason hot water usually contains some air bubbles. This condition is most noticeable in the winter months. It is also noticeable in the first water drawn from a hot water tank after the tank has been idle overnight.

5. Warming of cold water lines – cold water lines in basements, above the ground or attached to sides of buildings when warmed by internal home heat or exposed to the sun. 

6. Zinc- can be dissolved from galvanized piping and form bluish -white deposits in water. Since distribution piping is not made of zinc, this usually is caused by galvanized pipes within the residence. Restaurants are sometimes the source of milky water caused by zinc where water passes through coils of galvanized pipe surrounded by ice.

If your water appears milky, cloudy, or contains air bubbles, consult this list of potential causes. If you still feel there is a concern, please contact us at 724-776-4806.