4 Ways to Prepare Your Water System for Inclement Weather

Find out if there is more you can do to prevent spills, prevent pipes from freezing and keep water leaks from disrupting your daily operations. By implementing these tips, you and your water operations team can avoid astronomical physical water loss and costly repairs. Keep your bottom-line from feeling the pressure of budgetary constraints caused by winter weather. 

Everyone remembers the winter storm in February 2021 that left many Texans without power in freezing conditions. It was a devastating storm that brought about some of the worst cold weather conditions. Water operators in the South worked very hard to ensure that residents had running water during the storm.  

The water community learned a lot of good lessons from that experience. The biggest lesson learned was that southern states ought to consider more drastic measures when preparing for winter weather. Although southern states typically have a very warm climate, they now know that they should get ready for prolonged freezing temperatures, just in case.

Did the storm this week make you and your team lose any sleep? Here are a few ways that you and your team can prepare for another snowstorm in the south.

1. Install Heat Trace Cables to Keep Supply Lines Warm.

Before the winter storm of February 2021, you may have never considered installing heat trace cables in Texas. Rural water districts all over the south are now contemplating solutions like this one to prevent pipes from freezing, bursting and needing to be repaired. The cost is generally around $20 for every 10 ft. of heat trace. This is a low-cost solution that requires a bit of planning ahead.

2. Insulate Instrument Tubing to Prevent Pipes from Freezing.

Because southern states do not usually experience prolonged sub-zero temperatures, most of the water supply lines are not insulated. While it would be very challenging and expensive to insulate piping or tubing that is already installed underground, it may be prudent to consider insulating instrument tubing in the future.

It can cost as little as $.50 per foot. Insulating instrument tubing is a cost-effective way to prepare for freezing temperatures.

3. Add High Tank Level Alarms to Your Alarm System.

If you have an alarm management system in place, implementing high tank level alarms is a good way to keep tanks from overflowing during inclement weather and ice. Many water operators experienced tanks overflowing because of equipment failing to shut off when they filled up. Get alerted when tanks fill up and prevent spills by adding high tank level alarms before the winter weather hits.

4. Separate Power Sources to Deploy Redundant Alarming.

Don’t miss critical alarms during severe winter weather just because your network SCADA system doesn’t have power. Separate your power sources and provide your team with backup alarm notifications via email, text, or voice call-out. Systems, like eLynx, have the ability to ensure that you don’t miss critical alarms when natural disasters happen.

Redundancy on critical alarms will help you and your team sleep better at night the next time a winter storm blows through.


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