TONIGHT: Protect Your Pipes as Temps Drop!

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Department of Public Works – Announcements

Baltimore City Department of Public Works:  Feb. 14, 2020

Protect Your Pipes TONIGHT!

Baltimore area temperatures are expected to fall into the 20s tonight. The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) reminds residents that residential water lines as well as the city's water main infrastructure may be impacted. Cold weather can harm water infrastructure especially during long periods of cold and repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Water service lines and water meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time. Sub-freezing temperatures can also impact water mains, causing the ground to buckle and shift, resulting in broken water lines.

Let a thin, stead stream run from your faucet

Let a Thin, Steady Stream Flow!

When temperatures drop below freezing, let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet.

The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of a pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later.


Protect Your Pipes

water emergencies

Water Emergencies 

DPW maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. Water lines running from the meter to the house, and internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner.

For water emergencies in Baltimore City, please call 311, or call 410-396-5352 in our Baltimore County service area. 

HomeServe Water & Sewer Line Protection

Consider getting a service protection policy for your exterior water/sewer lines. Baltimore has partnered with HomeServe USA to provide these low-cost protection plans. Please visit

What Happens When a Water Main Breaks?

Although water main breaks happen throughout the year, the winter months can be especially hard on infrastructure. Water mains break due to a variety of factors, especially freezing and thawing conditions that can cause the ground to shift and put stress on the pipes. A history of previous breaks, pipe corrosion, soil conditions, and age contribute to water main breaks. Once service is restored, customers who have lost water service should allow water to run through a sink or tub faucet until it is clear.  

What Happens When a Watermain Breaks