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Many families still depend on drilled or dug wells for water with pumping systems above ground or the frost line.

“For these systems, it’s important to keep the well safe and operating through the winter,” reminded Ben Frech.

Buried deep underground well systems provide protection from the cold. “But above ground well pump systems should be insulated and warm,” according to the National Ground Water Association official.

A small, insulated enclosure covering the pump will help reduce the risk of freezing and other damage.

“This ‘well house’ helps ensure the well operates during freezing weather and saves thousands of dollars in repairs,” Frech said.

As water freezes, it expands and can burst pipes, leading to significant damage to homes and wells. While frozen pipes are a common winter issue, they can be avoided with certain precautions.

“Turn off exterior water and blow out the pipes, “Frech said. Many homes
have shut-off valves for its exterior water supply which should be turned off to outside systems and faucets.”

For houses with piping that runs through non-heated spaces like basements, insulating pipes is recommended. “Wrapping pipes with rubber casings or fiberglass insulation can keep their temperature above freezing and the water flowing,” Frech said.

“This is a great time to do a general inspection of your water system and piping,” the water official continued. “Spotting a problem in the water system now prevents a costly problem this winter.”

Fall is an excellent time to test well water quality. “The best practice for all water well owners is to have the water tested once per year,” Frech encouraged.

Little can be done to prevent winter power outages, but it is possible to still have a water supply.

“Always have a portable gas generator and plenty of gas to connect to the pumping system,” Frech suggested.

Families are encouraged to stock up on bottled water before the winter so there’s drinking water during a power outage.

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