If your water meter is located in a crawl space, basement, garage or other unheated area, it is recommended that you wrap the exposed pipes and water meter with insulation material available at your local hardware store. Check with the manufacturer that the insulation is rated for the below freezing temperatures that occur during winter in our area. In addition, sealing cracks in walls and around windows and making sure doors and windows to the outside are closed can further protect your water meter and water pipes.
The homeowner is responsible for the cost of all lost water and the cost of the damage to your property. Once your meter is frozen, it must be replaced, the cost of which is the responsibility of the homeowner. Freezing temperatures bring the potential of frozen water pipes and frozen water meters. When a meter or a pipe crack thousands of gallons of water can flow into your home. This can be an inconvenient and costly event. It is worth the cost to take a few preventative measures to protect your home.
If you will be out of town for a long period of time or if you are caring for a vacant home, it is recommended that you locate the inside water shut off valve before the water meter and make sure it is closed down and water is drained from your pipes. Additionally, and for further protection of your service line, you can request the Public Works Department shut off your water at the buffalo box. There is a shut off fee of $100.00 for shutting off the water at the buffalo box. There is not a fee to turn the water on.
Please remember as you turn down the heat to check that there is sufficient heat in the area where your water meter and water pipes are located to protect them from freezing. A frozen water meter or a frozen pipe will crack and become an open source of water flow from the water main.
If you believe that one of your neighboring properties may be vacant, please contact the Village’s Utility Department at 708-671-3721 so we can contact the owner and suggest that the water be turned off during freezing temperatures.