City of Galena

Avoiding a High Bill When Away From Home

Broken water pipes inside your property can be catastrophic. When leaving your home or business for an extended period of time, please consider shutting off your water supply inside the building. This is especially important in the winter when pipes can freeze and break easily without regular water use.  Even a small break in a water pipe can result in the loss of thousands of gallons of water, interior flooding, and costly utility charges and repairs.

If you have never shut off the interior main water valve before, test it before you leave. Turn on a faucet somewhere inside the building and shut off the main water valve. All water flow should stop. An old gate valve can break, so be gentle when handling the valve. If the valve is stuck, leave it alone. If it leaks or does not shut off all the way, have a licensed plumber replace the valve.  

In addition to the interior shutoff valve, every property is required to have a functioning shutoff valve outside the building between the foundation and the public water main. This shutoff valve is the property and responsibility of the property owner. The property owner may elect to hire a plumber to turn off the water service from the shutoff valve to the property. The City of Galena may operate the valve in cases of delinquent accounts (where the property owner will be charged for turning off and turning on the water) or emergencies. Utility base fees do not change when your water service is shut off.  

If you choose to keep your service water on when you are away during the cold months, consider a temperature sensor with an alarm and an automatic dialer to alert you when the temperature drops inside your home or business. Such alarms start at around $30, are easy to install and use, and can help you prevent broken water pipes.

For more information about how to protect your property from accidental water loss, please consult with a licensed plumber.      

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