Austin Water urges residents to prepare now for freezing temperatures

With winter approaching, Austin Water is urging Austinites to take steps now to prepare for freezing temperatures, especially after Winter Storm Uri.

To help customers prepare this year, Austin Water is providing free meter keys, hose bib covers, and winter preparedness tip sheets, while supplies last. Customers can pick up these supplies at City of Austin Utilities Customer Service Centers:

  • North Branch: 8716 Research Blvd., Suite 115, open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • South Branch: 1901 W. William Cannon Drive, Suite 100, open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Austin Water says residents can follow the department on Facebook for information about additional community pop-up events where winter toolkits will be available.

Austin Water is encouraging residents to follow a few, easy steps now to helps protect their property and prevent damage when freezing weather does arrive in Austin.

Austin Water offers the following tips:

Locate Your Water Shutoff

Locate the water main shutoff valve and keep it clear of debris and obstacles at all times. For most homes, the property owner’s shutoff valve is on your side of the water meter at the meter box. For renters, please consult with your property manager.

If you cannot find your shutoff valve or if it is damaged, then you should be prepared to access the City shutoff valve in the meter box. You may need a water meter key to open the meter box, which can be purchased at most hardware stores.

Weatherize to Keep Out Cold Air

Make repairs to broken or drafty windows, doors, and walls. Seal all leaks in crawl spaces and basements. Winterize unheated spaces and be prepared to close garage doors for the duration of the freeze. Gather supplies to cover vents on your home’s foundation.

Weatherize Exposed Pipes and Water Heaters

Prepare to insulate pipes in unheated and drafty areas, such as an attic or garage. Also check manufacturer recommendations for your tanked and tankless water heaters. Hardware and plumbing supply stores carry insulation to help keep pipes from freezing. Get all supplies now so you are ready to wrap pipes and water heaters when a winter storm is approaching.

Outside Faucets

Austin Water encourages all customers to turn off irrigation systems during the winter months to help conserve water. Prepare supplies to wrap outside faucets with towels or a Styrofoam insulator.

Gather Supplies to be Prepared

Having these supplies on hand will help you be prepared and avoid the rush at stores when the first winter storm of the season approaches.

  • Water meter key - to access your meter box (if needed)
  • Insulation for indoor and outdoor pipes and hot water heaters
  • Hose bib covers for outdoor faucets
  • Battery powered radio and flashlight
  • One gallon of water per person and pet per day for seven days

Tune in for Emergency Alerts

Download the Ready Central Texas mobile app to learn more about how to be emergency prepared and safety aware.

For more tips and information, click here.

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