Unexpected water supply emergencies can happen at any time, so knowing the basics of how to respond is very important. A water emergency can be as big as service and main line breaks caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or fires; or as small as a burst pipe on a hot water tank. No matter the size, it’s important for our customers to be prepared before a water supply emergency occurs.
We encourage customers to call to report emergency situations immediately. Your phone calls are critical in order to find the damage and make repairs as soon as possible. Please remember that each call will be evaluated and a determination will be made at that time if the repair will need to be made immediately. In some cases, it can take several days for repairs to allow time for the proper investigation of the problem as well as gathering the proper materials for the repair work.
Our District is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year for water related emergencies.
During Business Hours
Call the District to report a water supply emergency such as a water main break, service leak, hydrant knock-over, or an unattended flow of water from any type of water line.
After Business Hours
Contact our on-call service employee at 419-439-3913 for after-hour water emergencies. Always call 911 first if you have a life-threatening situation.
Leaks, breaks or other malfunctions in the District’s water distribution or sewer collection systems. District employees will respond promptly.
Emergencies are not…
Turning meters on or off, repairing or servicing leaks or breaks on the customer’s side of the meter, or requests to test water quality. Please call during regular business hours if you need meter on/off service or if you have questions about water quality or bill payment.
Water leaks are often indicated by water running in the curb or on streets, or unusually wet or muddy turf. When the source of the water is not evident, it may indicate a leak in a buried water line. Report all leaks to the District. A District employee will be notified and will come to the location to determine if the leak is the responsibility of the District or the homeowner.
If the leak is determined to be an emergency and is the responsibility of the District, our employees will tend to the problem as soon as it is possible. If it is determined that the leak is not an emergency, it may take several days for work to begin. The reason for this is that all utilities having facilities underground in the affected area must be notified and their lines must be marked in the vicinity before excavation begins.
Important things to know for household water emergencies:
- Where your water shut-off valves are located;
- How to shut off the supply valve to your house;
- That all valves in your house are in working order, and
- Informing everyone in your household so they can feel confident to shut water off.
Types and Locations of Water Shut-off Valves
- Curb Stop valves are located before your meter box in front of your house. This will turn off all the water going to your yard and home. A District employee is the only one authorized to use this valve.
- Meter Box valves are usually inside your house where the main water line comes into your home. The valve will have a round or oval handle (gate valve), or a straight lever handle (ball valve) that controls the flow of the water to the entire house. To close the gate valve, turn the round or oval valve handle clockwise. This valve typically turns the water off slowly and will need several turns to be fully closed. To close a ball valve turn the straight lever handle clockwise a quarter turn so it sits perpendicular to the pipe. Ball valves must be closed and opened slowly and smoothly to avoid undue stress or damage to pipes and fittings.
- Fixture valves are found under sinks, at clothes washers, and hot water heaters. These valves only turn off the adjacent fixture.
Locate and map all these valves, practice shutting them off and show members of your household how to do the same. Sometimes valves are old and may be stuck or just keep spinning or even break off in your hand. It is much easier to fix them now than before you are under the stress of a water supply emergency.
There may be times when the District needs to shut off water service in your area due to an emergency. In those situations, it’s your responsibility to know the water systems in your home and take necessary precautions.
Some specialized water systems—including those with automatic timers—may or may not come back on when water service is restored. Faucets in use will flow once the water comes back on, so you’ll want to turn those off to prevent overflows.
Other specialized systems to check include:
- Automatic ice makers
- Water softeners
- Automated watering systems for animals
- Fountains with automatic fill features
- Some irrigation systems
Don’t be taken by surprise! To understand how a water shutdown may affect your home systems, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with product manuals, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and call the manufacturer if you have product-related questions.
Keep Contact Information Current
It is important that we have as many ways as possible to communicate with our customers during times of emergencies. Please make sure your contact information, including all phone numbers and current email addresses, are up-to-date and on file with us.
Informing Our Customers
Our District will inform affected customers as soon as possible if there is a disruption of service. In some emergency situations where there are unsafe conditions or property damage, however, there may be little or no opportunity to provide advance notice. Sometimes the presence of our employees in the area and low, or changing, water pressure, are the only notices provided.
Report Water Outages
Please call the District to report an outage. Every attempt will be made to notify our customers about known pre-planned water service interruptions. During or after a waterline shutdown in your area, you may experience brown, discolored or cloudy water and/or loud noises in plumbing pipes and fixtures from air in the water lines. To resolve these issues, flush water lines in your home for five to 10 minutes. If conditions do not improve, contact Customer Service.
The District is dedicated to the safe and efficient delivery of potable water and the reliable operation of the sewer system. Customers are encouraged to report any unusual activity that may occur in and around our facilities. If you see activity after hours and a District marked vehicle and/or District employee is not visible, then the activity may not be authorized. Please contact us immediately!