Water Main Breaks and Leaks
Water main breaks are unpredictable and happen for various reasons as a normal part of operating a water utility.
- Overly dry or wet weather causes the ground to shift
- Sudden pressure fluctuations
- Normal aging
The Public Works Department strives to make necessary repairs as quickly and safely as possible.
To report a water line leak or break during normal business hours, please call City Hall at (432) 523-4820. After hours and on weekends, including holidays, please call our customer service number at (432) 266-1550 or (432) 556-2870. Personnel respond to water leaks at any time of the day or night and we genuinely appreciate when a report is made to us.
Don't assume your neighbor will make the call. The Water Department would rather receive multiple reports about a suspected problem than no call at all.
Since water is such a valued resource and because any leak can become much worse in a short amount of time, it is requested that all leaks be reported timely by telephone.
- Line locates are called in to mark all underground utilities (gas, telephone, electric, cable).
- Excavation may not begin until lines are marked or "no response" after two (2) hours.
- Street closures and safety signage may be necessary to control traffic and keep workers and citizens safe.
- Excavation of the main line may expose a minor leak which sometimes can be repaired without shutting water off.
- Major leaks require the crews to isolate the pipe by shutting off valves and temporarily placing the water supply off service for the time necessary to make the repairs.
- After repair or replacement of the broken pipe, it is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and flushed prior to being reconnected to the system.
Note: For emergency repairs that could be life-threatening, repairs are started immediately but with caution.
A standard repair can take four to five hours to complete. If it is determined that more time will be required to complete the repair, City Hall will be updated with this status during normal business hours.
Note: Repair crews may hang doorhangers to notify residents who will be without water. In addition, the city may utilize online services (Facebook) or other electronic media to notify residents.
DID YOU KNOW?
Water Leaks are responsible for about 14 percent of wasted water. If you experience an unusually high water bill, you may have a leak. The City of Andrews is responsible for maintaining the service line leading to your home or business's meter and the meter itself. The property owner is responsible for the service line behind the meter and the rest of the property's plumbing.
A slow leaking faucet can use up to 170 gallons of water each day. What can you do?
- Check all water connections for leaks. To check for toilet leaks, put a few drops of dye in the tank. Your fixture needs adjustment or repair if the dye appears in the bowl after about 15 minutes. Leaky toilets can usually be repaired inexpensively by replacing the flapper.
- Check for leaks in the underground pipe by turning off all faucets. Then look at your water meter. If it’s running, you probably have a leak.
- Does your sink, bathtub or kitchen faucet have a slow drip? These can usually be repaired by replacing the washer inside or valve or the rubber O-ring.
Bathrooms account for about 75 percent of indoor water use. We all know that we can save about two gallons of water by turning off the water while brushing our teeth, but check out some other water wise tips that include retrofitting.
- Install a low-flow shower head that limits the flow to less than three gallons per minute. This can reduce water use in the shower by up to 50 percent and is the single most effective conservation step.
- Taking a shower instead of a bath will usually save water. Limiting showering time will also help. A 10-minute shower with a conventional shower head uses about 55 gallons of water. If you take baths rather than showers, don't fill the tub to the top. Reduce the water level by one or two inches from what you have been using.
- If you have a toilet manufactured prior to the 1980's, it probably uses 5 to 7 gallons per flush without a displacement device. Putting a displacement device in your toilet tank can save up to 20 percent of the water being used. Place two one-quart plastic bottles weighted with stones and filled with water into the toilet tank. This reduces the amount of water in the tank and still leaves enough for flushing. Do not use bricks because they crumble and can cause damage to the fixture. Displacement devices do not work as well in newer toilets that use 3.5 gallons or less per flush.
- Pool water in the sink for shaving instead of letting the water run.
- Install faucet aerators to cut water consumption
Kitchens account for 11 percent of indoor water use. When washing or cleaning fruit and vegetables, fill the sink with water and rinse, rather than allowing water to run.
Laundry accounts for 14 percent of indoor water use. An average washing machine uses 32 to 59 gallons per cycle. When doing laundry, wash only when you have a full load.