HELENA – This winter, our freeze and thaw events are dramatically increasing the risk of freezing the city’s water service lines. Lower frost depths have potential to affect underground service lines, causing them to freeze and burst.

Several homes are currently without water due to frozen external service lines. Incidents of frozen sewer services have also been reported. The continued current cycle of warming days and cooling nights contributes to lower frost depth.

Freezing can occur quickly, often during periods when water is not running, such as the late evening and early morning hours.

  • Water meter and supply drain pipes must be in a space with a heat source, and protected from drafts of frigid air.
  • Use insulation or heat tape if your meter and main pipe are located in a crawl space, cold garage, or basement that may not have a heat source
  • Leave cabinet doors open under sinks; warm air can circulate and keep pipes from freezing
  • If you notice flow is reduced, freezing may have started. Let a small stream of water, about the size of pencil lead (1/16 to 1/8 diameter) flow from the faucet to keep lines from freezing solid
  • Simple precautionary steps may help save more expensive repairs or unexpected expense and inconvenience as we wait for spring thaw which is still several weeks away, typically early March.

Residents are encouraged to report problems to the Utility Maintenance Division at (406) 457-8567.