In addition to the record snowfall we have received in North Reading, the unusually cold weather is causing problems with water services feeding homes and businesses.  The depth of the frost in some areas is reaching over four feet, and is extending down to the depth of the water service supplying homes and businesses.

When the water service is surrounded by frozen ground, there is a very real possibility that the water in the service will freeze, causing your home to be without water.  Signs of a service beginning to freeze are reduced water flow or reduced water pressure early in the morning, with the flow/pressure returning to normal as you use more water.  Note that a service may freeze completely overnight, without any preceding sign that there is a problem.

The North Reading Water Department is recommending that residents and businesses allow one faucet to trickle slowly during periods of low water use, such as overnight or when you are away at school or work.  The water temperature in the water mains is approximately 45⁰ F.  Running this relatively warm water through your water service helps to prevent the service from freezing.  The recommendation is to run the water at slow – but continuous – rate, approximately 1 gallon per hour.

This problem is longer term than the occasional sub-zero degree night.  The frost will stay at this depth or go even deeper into the ground until we have an extended period of above freezing temperatures.  Therefore, the recommendation is to continue allowing water to trickle from that one faucet until the weather changes.