Big Thaw Could Reveal Big Problems

Posted by clarklc Tuesday, January 9, 2018 12:33:00 PM

Greenville Utilities is asking everyone to keep an ear and an eye out for water problems as temperatures rise well above freezing, thawing us out after the last week's cold blast. The Water Treatment Plant is recording higher than normal water demand - and expects matters to get worse the next couple of days.

"We have been so cold for so long, many of our customers' pipes froze," said Water Quality Manager Anthony Whitehead. "Pipes under houses and in the ground, like a sprinkler system, would freeze, then burst, but the temperatures were so cold, the water would freeze again. You would not even know the pipe was frozen."

Now that temperatures are rising, the snow is melting, and warm air is moving through crawl spaces. These broken pipes are starting to gush water and place a huge demand on GUC's water system. GUC is asking all customers to take a few moments today to stop, look and listen.

  • Stop what you're doing in your home and listen for the sound of running water. You can usually hear water running through pipes. Check to make sure faucets, washers, dishwashers, and toilets are not running. If those are all off and you still hear water running in the pipes, you may have a broken pipe.
  • Look at where your pipes are: in crawl spaces, outside spigots, and possibly in your yard. Look for signs of water running when it's not supposed to. If you see a problem, call a plumber.

If you don't see any problems, but you hear water running and know all faucets and washers are shut off, then look at the water meter outside. If the dial is spinning, then water is running in (and out) of your system. Call a plumber immediately.

Running water runs up your water and sewer bills, stresses the water system, and could cause a lot of expensive damage to your home.

For more information about preparing your home for cold temperatures, go to



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