Workflow Evansville

Prepare Lawn Irrigation Systems for Winter to Avoid Frozen Pipes

(October 20, 2021) Homeowners with lawn sprinkler and irrigation systems connected to the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility water distribution system are advised to winterize their backflow preventers before the area receives a hard freeze. The backflow device is typically located outside the home, above ground, and near the water meter. It protects the city’s water supply by preventing water and potential contaminates from flowing backward into the water distribution system.

The EWSU recommends hiring a plumbing professional to winterize your irrigation system. If that is not possible, there are a few easy steps homeowners should take to prevent the backflow device from freezing. The best way to winterize the backflow preventer is to bleed out all of the water, disconnect the device, and store it in a warm place for the winter.

If you are unable to disconnect the backflow preventer, and after the water has been removed, it is recommended that you cover the device with a thick blanket, towels, or similar material. Insulation and heat tape may be used, but alone they do not provide sufficient protection from extreme cold during winter months. Allowing the backflow preventer and outdoor water pipes to freeze is a costly mistake.

Remember, state and local regulations require homeowners to have the backflow preventer tested by a certified plumbing professional every year. Testers are required to report test results to EWSU.

Watch video of EWSU Regulatory Compliance Inspector Jesse Bernal demonstrating how to winterize the backflow device on the Cross Connection webpage.

Read the Evansville Municipal Code on backflow prevention under section 13.15.050. https://www.codepublishing.com/IN/Evansville/#!/html/Evansville13/Evansville1315.html.

For more information about the Cross Connection Control Program, call EWSU Regulatory Compliance at 812-436-7015.