Winter deserted Cowra over the weekend but prior to the sudden burst of warm weather the cold created a burst of its own.
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The cold winter, which has seen overnight temperatures drop below zero on multiple occasions, has seen a big increase in burst water pipes and damaged water meters.
Cowra Shire Council Director of Infrastructure and Operations George Ridley said last week that cold weather generally had no effect on water mains as they were underground.
“Recently though we had some severe frosts in Cowra with morning temperatures dropping below zero.
“We did experience some water meters bursting — 70 in total — in and around Cowra,” Mr Ridley added.
Water meters, and the pipes connected to them, can be at risk of freezing if they sit above ground.
During the colder months, water inside the meter and pipes can freeze.
As the water freezes, it expands, causing the meter to burst and the pipes to split.
Mr Ridley said there are a number of things Cowra residents should be doing to protect their water meter.
“Above-ground meters should always be covered with a heavy bag or old blanket — especially in winter — to protect them from weather extremes,” Mr Ridley said.
To protect your water meter and pipes during the colder months, residents can also cover them with an upturned bucket, carboard box or an old tyre.
In doing so, your water meter and pipes should be sufficiently protected from low temperatures and remain easily accessible for meter reading and maintenance.
If you experience problems with our meter Mr Ridley said you should call council’s after hours emergency numbers on 026340 2120 or 0419 219 231.
“It usually takes about one hour maximum to replace a meter after we have received the call,” Mr Ridley said.
“This depends however on where in the Shire it is located.
If your meter or pipes do freeze but has not burst the best solution is to wait for the temperature to rise and for the water inside to naturally unfreeze.
You can poor lukewarm water over the affected areas in an attempt to unfreeze the meter and the pipes.
You should not pour hot or boiling water over your water meter or pipes, as this can cause them to split.
The temperature is expected to zero again on Wednesday and Thursday morning.
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