Time to Think About Winterization?

Pumpkin spice is in the air and that can only mean one thing: it is time to think about winterizing our water and wastewater utilities.

Some maintenance is better done in warmer months, but as this comes to a close for the year, now is a good time to switch gears and schedule your winter maintenance plan. If your utility has an Asset Management Plan (AMP), this should be your first stop in making sure you are up to speed with annual maintenance and planned improvements. Other regular maintenance items may not be included in the AMP for the Utility but should be reviewed periodically to make sure your utility has these Operation, Maintenance, and Replacement (OM&R) processes in place.

Standard Operating Procedures are a great way to simplify these processes and document them to make sure they don’t get overlooked. These can be combined into an “Operations and Maintenance Manual” or incorporated into the AMP.

Below are some reminders for regular “Winterization” to consider over the next few months:

  • Hydrants and Valves: Inspect, Exercise, and Lubricate (if applicable). Ensure hydrants drain properly.
  • Hydrants /  Water Mains: Flushing and pressure/flow tests
  • Storage Tanks: Visual inspection. If frequent freezing occurs, consideration should be given to installing a mixer or varying daily operating levels during cold weather. Overflow issues should be addressed prior to winter to avoid freeze damage.
  • Buildings and Pump Houses: Cleaning and Visual Inspection for necessary repairs prior to winter weather. Ensure heat sources are operable. Ensure floor drains are functional.
  • Generators and Other Mechanical Equipment: Inspect, start-up, and fuel inspection.
  • Heat Tracing: Ensure heat tracing/heat tape is functional on exposed piping.
  • Irrigation Systems: Shut off backflow devices on irrigation systems.
  • Emergency Plans and Materials: Review emergency response plans and take stock of stored materials for emergency repairs.

Reach out to the Director of Business Development, Theresa Criss-Hartwig, for more information on how to proactively protect your utility.