Listen in to Tom Mason, Senior Water Utility Operator with the Town of Jackson’s Public Works Department, as he joins Del Ray in the KJAX (93.5 FM) studios to talk about what you can do to protect your water pipes from freezing this winter...and what to do if it does happen!
Tom grew up in Wilson (his great, great grandfather was Nick Wilson) and has been working with the Town of Jackson for over 9 nears. He was a Captain with Jackson Hole Fire/EMS where he served for over 18 years (retiring about 5 years ago). Now you can find him maintaining the town’s water supply infrastructure (wells, pumps, hydrants, and piping) as well as insuring water quality through testing.
Each Wednesday morning at 8:30am a representative from the Town of Jackson joins Del Ray on KJAX for the This is Our Town series. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to meet just a few of the folks who make this community a great place to live and work.
You can also go to the Town of Jackson’s website at www.townofjackson.com to listen in to archived This is Our Town interviews!
During freezing temperatures:
• Maintain water flow by allowing cold water to run into the drain. Keeping a small trickle of water (the size of a pencil lead) flowing from a faucet farthest from the intake can be effective.
• Open cabinet doors to allow more heat to surround the pipes near outer walls.
• Leave heat turned on at all times. Heat should not be lower than 50 degrees.
• Plan ahead if you will be away from home for an extended time. Ask a friend or neighbor to check your house daily to make sure it’s warm enough to prevent freezing.
• Check your crawl space and make sure your pipes are properly insulated and your venting in closed.
• Trailer skirting should be in place.
• Disconnect your garden hose from your hose bib, or spigot. This allows the pipe to drain so that it doesn’t freeze, split and leak just inside the wall. The actual valve that stops the flow of water on these is usually 12” or so inside the building.
• Take the time to know where the master shutoff valve for your homes water is before an emergency occurs. This is generally at or near the water meter. Label it, and make sure everyone in the home, or those watching your home, know its location and how to turn it off. If you’re unsure of its location consult your plumber.
Oh no! You have a leak
- Don’t take chances. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, leave the faucets turned on and call a certified plumber.
- If you detect that your water pipes have frozen and burst, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve in the house; leave the water faucets turned on. (Make sure everyone in your family knows where the water shut-off valve is and how to open and close it.)
- NEVER try to thaw a pipe with a torch or other open flame. Water damage is preferable to burning down your house. You may be able to thaw a frozen pipe with the warm air from a hairdryer. Start by warming the pipe as close to the faucet as possible, working toward the coldest section of pipe.
- DO NOT use electrical appliances in areas of standing water. Be aware of electrical shock and be safe.
- Contact the Public Works Department, 307-733-3079 if you are not able to shut off the water at the main valve.
- Contact your insurance agent to notify them of the damages.
What should NEVER go down your drain.
Recently Teton County Dispatch received reports of septic smells near the intersection of Kelly and Vine all the way to the intersection of Maple Way and Powderhorn.
The culprit: a blockage in the sewer system caused by FLUSHABLE WIPES. The Town of Jackson is asking you to spread the word to everyone you know....PLEASE DON’T PUT "WET WIPES" in the toilet, even if they are labeled flushable or septic safe.
Public Works crews reported that the blockage, caused by ’flushable wipes’, cleared itself sometime between 4:30pm and 5:00pm on Tuesday, December 17. When the blockage cleared itself, there was a surge in flow that caused stagnant sewer gases to flow up and out of manholes. This in turn, caused a wave of sewer smells in much of east Jackson.