Virginia Beach crews ready to deal with any cold weather pipe issues

Posted at 8:33 PM, Jan 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-07 20:33:50-05

Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - With plummeting temperatures, Virginia Beach Public Utilities crews are prepared to deal with any issues that might come as a result.

"I think our biggest concern is how it is going to play on the water mains.  When you have a cold spell where it’s really cold and the next day or day after it warms up, that’s normally what causes the water mains  to break," explained Virginia Beach Public Utilities Meter Operations Superintendent Matt Hood.

For water mains, the concern is less about the freezing temperatures and more about the swing in temperatures which allows the ground around the pipes to expand and contract.

"They either shear or crack just because the ground freezes or thaws and that movement is what causes those leaks," Hood told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Wednesday.

Last January, workers stayed busy responding to reports of frozen water meters as well as water main breaks.

The freezing temperatures gripping Hampton Roads this week aren't expected to last as long, which Hood is hopeful means things won't be quite as bad.

"It was cold enough for so long that we had lines freezing and that kind of stuff but I don’t see that possibly happening this time. Keep my fingers crossed."

Either way, Virginia Beach crews are Taking Action to be ready just in case anything happens.

"They've got thawing machines. They’re prepping all that. They do have extra crews on standby because they are predicting more work," Hood stated.

Virginia Beach Public Utilities also advises that if pipes burst in your home and you can't locate the shut-off valve, call (757) 385-4631 or (757) 385-3111 at night and on weekends and holidays.

A Public Utilities member will be dispatched to turn off your water service at the meter.