Last winter, Moab had numerous problems with frozen water pipes and meters in the city when temperatures dropped below zero and rarely rose above freezing in January.

Frozen meters can take from 30 minutes up to several hours each to thaw the ice to where water will flow again. In some instances customers were without water for several weeks.

“We will do everything we can to restore your water to you if it freezes, but the best defense is not letting it freeze, or refreeze after it is thawed,” said Jeff Foster, the city’s public works director.

He said the main thing to keep in mind is to either heat or insulate any plumbing that is exposed to the weather or in unheated areas of the home.

There are a few things that can be done to avoid frozen pipes.

“Keeping sink cabinet doors open to let heat in can help, as well as running a little water at night when it is cold,” Foster said. “This practice may cost a little, but it is a pretty cheap insurance policy to keep your water running.

Water customers are also advised to keep homes and businesses warm and to not turn the heat below 65 degrees while away.

Another suggestion is to put heat tape and insulation on locations that are exposed or known to freeze.

“Sometimes even taking precautions cannot prevent frozen pipes. When this happens, don’t take chances,” Foster said.

If you turn on the faucets and nothing comes out, he advised to leave the faucets turned on and call a plumber.

“If you are concerned or if your water froze last year, call the public works shop and have them come insulate your water meter. If you have any questions or unique circumstances and would like to talk to someone about what you can do to protect your water system from freezing please call we will try to help however we can,” Foster said. “It is much easier for us to help you find ways to protect your plumbing than it is to try to thaw it out when it does freeze.

If you can see that a pipe has burst, immediately call the City of Moab during working hours at 259-7485 or 259-5123.

If the broken pipe is discovered in the evening or on a weekend, he said to call Grand County Sheriff’s dispatch at 259-8115.

“You will be added to what we hope is a very short list this year,” Foster said.

Frigid temps can wreak havoc on water lines