With forecasted record cold temperatures coming to Central New York, OCWA—Central New York’s Water Authority—is urging residents to take precautions to protect their outside water services and home plumbing fixtures from freezing. Water lines can freeze solid preventing the flow of water and may also break during extended periods of subfreezing temperatures, resulting in water damage and flooding. If you reside in an area where you have experienced loss of service during extreme weather conditions in the past, the following steps should be taken to maintain water service and to avoid water damage from freezing pipes:


  • Constantly run one faucet in a household with a minimal steady stream of water from the tap in order to keep liquid moving through the lines. Water that is not moving is more likely to freeze. This should be done in homes where water fixtures are used less, creating low water circulation.
  • Pipes that run along outside walls are exposed to colder temperatures than those in the interior. Cabinets near fixtures running along the outside wall in kitchens and bathrooms should be opened to allow warm air from the rest of the house to circulate and lessen the chance of freezing.
  • Check your basement to ensure that outside air is not blowing in on pipes via open or broken windows or other openings.


Property owners are reminded that frozen pipes within the home or business are the responsibility of the property owner. If OCWA customers have any questions, they can contact our Operations Department at (315) 455-7061 ext. 3106.