Please see updated information below regarding the City’s water system and tips. Please report any water or wastewater issues to 3-1-1.
Houston’s water & wastewater systems are operating at emergency pressure levels and experiencing system-wide low water pressure. If you have water, please use it only for health & safety reasons.
If there is no water, this could indicate that the home’s private water line is frozen. After temperatures are above freezing, the best way to thaw frozen water pipes is to:
- Open cabinet doors to circulate warm air
- Use hair dryers, heat lamps or portable space heaters
- DO NOT USE open flames or propane torches (fire hazard)
Please do NOT drip faucets, this will cause lower water pressure to our City. Houston’s water system is different than other systems in that we don’t use water towers to provide pressure to the system. We use ground storage tanks & pumps. Some of this equipment has been damaged due to the severe weather.
HOW TO TURN OFF WATER MAIN CONNECTIONS
Homeowners may choose to turn off their main water connections following a freeze, burst water pipe or a water leak.
IDENTIFY SHUTOFF VALVE LOCATION
Slab foundations have two valves, one located at the house. This can be found along an exterior wall or in your garage. The other valve can be found at the water meter by the street.
Older pier & beam foundations shutoff valves are in the ground water meter box.
SHUT OFF THE WATER
You may need an adjustable wrench or pliers to assist in turning off the valves. Homes will have either a gate or ball valve:
- Ball valve turn lever 90 degrees (lever is perpendicular to the pipes when valve is closed. It will be parallel when valve is open)
- Gate valve (common in older homes): gently turn round handle clockwise (right) until it is completely closed. (you will turn handle counterclockwise to turn water back on)
HOW DO I SHUT OFF WATER AT METER BOX?
Please do NOT shut off water yourself. Please call 311 (713.837.0311) to have Houston Water walk you through steps you can take to turn off the water at your house.
TRANSPORTATION & DRAINAGE UPDATES
Roadways, especially bridges & overpasses remain hazardous. Please do not travel unless it is an emergency. If you must travel, keep an extra blanket, flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case you become stranded.
HOUSTON WATER TIPS
To prevent water leaks due to frozen water pipes:
Before Freezing Weather
- Wrap exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home
- Remove garden hoses connected to outside faucets
- Turn off sprinkler systems
In Freezing Weather
- Open cabinet doors under sinks next to outside walls
- Do NOT drip faucets, this lowers the water pressure in Houston’s water system
- In unheated garages, shut off water to washing machines
- Protect pipes that have frozen in the past
Not Going to Be Home?
- Drain outside water faucets or leave home heating system on low
Please turn off sprinkler systems before cold weather to prevent potential broken pipes and slick local streets.
RENTAL PROPERTY TIPS
Landlords must maintain rental properties to the standards set by the Houston Housing Code of Ordinances (Sec. 10-363). Heating equipment must maintain a minimum inside temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit (measured three feet above the floor) when it is 20 degrees Fahrenheit outside. To report suspected violations, call 311.
To report water leaks, trees down, lights flashing or other concerns, please call 311, 713.837.0311.
Together we will!