Mark Darville, owner of the Darville Company has been a big help to us here at our office, so I knew it was only natural that he would try to help the citizens of Odessa during this water crisis. Here are some tips provided by Mark Darville for what you should do if your water has been shut off.
If you have no water being supplied by the city here are a few suggestions:
• Turn water to the house OFF. You do not want water to be pushed into the home then backwashed as city pressure ebbs and flows during repairs. My house still has pressure and I still turned water off to my house. Back flow and the dangers associated with it is the #1 reason for plumbers being trained and licensed in the field of Sanitary Plumbing.
• Turn water sprinkler systems OFF if they are on the city’s water. We do NOT want the valves opening with no water pressure.
• Turn the heat source to your water heater(s) OFF at their controller. We do not want water to heat and build pressure since with the water off, we cannot push back into the city.
• Water heater tank is full of water. IF water to the house is off AND water heater is turned OFF you can then access 40-80 gallons of clean water from inside your water heater tank from the drain valve. You will need to open a hot water valve, preferably the hot water valve on a bathtub, to allow the water to come out of the drain valve.
• Your RO system will also have a VERY limited amount of water in their pressure tanks.
• Flushing – obviously a problem. A toilet can be flushed by pouring a couple of gallons towards the bottom the bowl at a rapid rate. With water being a precious resource right now we would suggest not flushing for #1, and you might consider disposing of paper in the trash.
• Water well. We need to be very careful connecting water well pressure to a house with city water so that we do not create a cross-connection with the city lines.
When water comes back on:
• Open the outside hose-bib that is closest to the main water line entrance. Do NOT turn water valves on in the house.
• Slowly turn the main valve on so that pressure, compounded with air, is not released too rapidly back into your house lines.
• Once fully open let the water flush for quite a while, observing the water being released for dirt and debris.
• Next open cold water tub valves fully and let them run until the air stops.
• Next, if possible, remove aerators from the lavatory and sink faucets before opening up the cold side of the faucet valves and open these valves up fully until the air stops coming through.
• Do the same for the hot water valves in the same order.
What to expect:
• Anytime water pressure is stopped then restored debris from inside our water lines can break free and become lodged in aerators, faucet valves, flush valves, and other plumbing equipment and fixtures.
• Discolored and foul-tasting water for a while.
Remember after all of this is over plumbers are going to be in high demand, so be patient