While many homes in Alabama had to work double-time over the Christmas weekend to keep warm during the record-deep freeze, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is now asking residents to stop dripping their water faucets once things warm up or else risk further depleting the already low water supply.
Running a water faucet at a slow drip is a common way home and business owners have avoided frozen pipes, but it has now — along with major leaks and other issues — led to a significant decrease in water supplies across the state.
"Due to excessive water loss being experienced by many public water systems in the state, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management is requesting that residents and businesses discontinue dripping faucets once temperatures are above freezing," ADEM said in a release.
On Monday, the mayor of Selma declared a local state of emergency after warning that the city was on the verge of running out of water. Randolph County residents had the same issues with their water supply, the R.L. Harris Reservoir, which has reached critically low levels.
"Water utilities across the state are struggling to keep up with increased consumer demand, exacerbated by leaks from frozen pipes as they thaw," the release continued. "The public can help by checking for leaks inside and outside of their homes or businesses."
ADEM said to report any leaks to local water suppliers and to install insulated covers on outdoor faucets as an alternative to dripping.
"Also, if water service is not imperative at your building during this time, you are urged to turn off the water at the meter, drain the water lines at the lowest spigot on the property, leaving the faucet on, and turn the water back on after the outside temperature rises above 32 degrees," ADEM stated.
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