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Cold Weather and Water Tank Management

Posted By IAMU, Monday, February 4, 2019

By Julie Sievers, Senior Environmental Specialist, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Field Office 3 - Spencer

During extremely cold weather or during periods of high winds, water tower and storage tank piping can freeze, preventing water from entering and leaving the tower or tank. To try to prevent this, operators are encouraged to take steps to keep the water moving in and out of the tower or tank, using the recirculating pump if the tower is equipped with one, and monitoring system pressures. A drop in pressure when the tower or tank level shows adequate water is an indication of ice building up in the piping. 

These actions are especially important in storage tanks with industrial or business or school connections where the usage drops to very low levels for long periods of time (such as over a weekend or during snow days). If you encounter a situation where you cannot move water into and out of the tower or storage tank, contact your tower maintenance contractor. Typically, hot water or steam is used to thaw out the piping. You may need to request your customers conserve water and reduce usage until the piping can be thawed out. Please notify your local DNR Field Office and apprise them of the situation. If your system is depressurized, they will work with you to get the system back to normal operations.

Tags:  IDNR  Water 

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