Water main breaks, leaking pipes prompt calls to conserve water

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Water utility crews in Charleston and Mount Pleasant are asking residents to conserve water as water pipes begin thawing out from last week's winter storm.

Workers with the Charleston Water System and Mount Pleasant Waterworks are working to repair water main breaks and leaking pipes. As water lines begin thawing, the damage many water systems sustained is becoming clear.

"Since the beginning of this extreme weather event, we've seen more than 70 main breaks," Charleston Water System representative Mike Saia said.

To ensure there are no problems impacting water service, Charleston Water System is asking that you follow these tips:

  • Turn off dripping faucets.. once temperatures get above freezing.
  • Turn off irrigation systems.
  • Hold off on doing laundry, washing your cars.. and try to take shorter showers.
  • If you experience any leaks, turn off your water at your shut-off valve immediately and call a plumber.

Water use jumped by about 40 to 50 percent across the Charleston area in the last week or so, which prompted Mount Pleasant Waterworks to reduce water pressure.

The increase in water pressure was in part caused by people dripping their faucets to prevent frozen pipes from bursting. Mount Pleasant Waterworks General Manager Clay Duffie says that preventative measure will ultimately help people keep water costs down.

"The good thing is that folks have been dripping their faucets, which I think will help them avoid huge plumbing bills," Duffie said.

Charleston Water System officials warn they may have to do the same if people don't conserve enough water.

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