Charleston, S.C. – As temperatures rise above freezing Monday, the Charleston Water System (CWS) asks its customers to begin voluntary water conservation, and to continue to do so throughout the week, to help ensure system functionality. The utility asks for cooperation to help its water distribution system cope with the large amount of residential and commercial leaks expected as temperatures rise, pipes thaw, and leaks appear.
– Turn off dipping faucets on Monday, once temperatures get above freezing.
– Turn off irrigation systems.
– Delay laundry.
– Shorten showers.
– Avoid car washing.
– Have leaks repaired.
– Avoid other nonessential water use.
When temperatures rise rapidly after a freeze, residential and commercial plumbing that was frozen often develops leaks. These numerous small leaks combine with larger water main breaks caused by a rapid shift in temperature and have the potential to put a significant strain on the water distribution system. If great enough, the demand can lead to reduced system pressure and may impact water service.
On Monday morning, customers may greatly benefit from turning off the water to their homes and structures at the shut off valve before leaving for work. Turning off water heaters is also recommended. These actions minimize or prevent damage from leaks occurring throughout the day when no one is home.
If a customer has a leak in their home or business, they should immediately turn off their water themselves at their shut off valve and call a plumber to make repairs. If necessary, CWS or a plumber can be called to come and shut off the water at the meter, but the quickest solution is always to turn the water off yourself at the shut off valve.
Shut off valves are typically located in the ground near the outdoor spigot directly in line with water meters. In raised or commercial structures, they may be located at the point where plumbing enters the building. It’s best to locate and test shut off valves before a problem arises. This CWS video describes where residential shut off valves are located: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iojETkuartc
CWS customers with emergencies are urged to call (843) 727-6800 for an immediate response 24 hours a day. Emergencies should not be reported via social media, as a full description of the problem is best communicated to their customer service team who can fully assess and respond to the situation.