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High Risk Services

What is a "High Risk" Service?

The Water Division is categorizing "High Risk" services as those that experienced a frozen service the winter of 2007/2008. In addition, the services with the greatest potential for freezing problems are vacant services. The low water usage is likely to increase the potential for freezing problems.

Please keep in mind that if no one will be home for an extended period in extreme weather, the potential for freezing increases. Refer to recommendations for vacant services for more information.


Trickle/Drip Prevention

When outside temperatures during the day remain near or below freezing and night time temperatures dip below 20°F for consecutive days, the City of Santa Fe recommends that residents with "High Risk" services, who have previously experienced a frozen water service, turn a faucet on to a slow trickle/drip to prevent freezing. Burst pipes cause flooding and significant damage; consequential leaks can result in high water bills. Mitigation through dripping of faucets is a means of offsetting larger losses that sometimes accompany freeze-ups.

  • Let a trickle of water drip from the cold side of the furthest faucet or faucets from your water heater to ensure that water circulates throughout your home.
  • This water does go through the water meter and your will be charged for it just as if you were using it for any other purpose.
    • A small trickle of approximately 60 drips per minute will add up to approximately 0.36 gallons per hour and cost less than four cents per day on your water bill.
    • Use the WaterWiser Drip Calculator to measure and estimate water wasted due to leaks.

While the community has worked very hard to conserve water, this is the most cost efficient and effective way to prevent pipes and meters from freezing. When outside temperatures remain below freezing, it's less expensive to allow your faucet to drip than for you to repair a frozen or burst pipe and be without water for an extended period.

Capture & Reuse

We ask that customers who use the trickle/drip technique as a preventive measure make every effort to recycle the water. If you "Capture & Reuse" your water, you will not increase your water use. Some suggestions for the use of your captured water are to:

capture water in a one or five gallon bucket (note: instead of running a sink faucet, you may choose to run the bath faucet so a larger capture container can be placed underneath) and reuse for watering plants orturn off the toilet inflow tap and re-use captured water to fill toilet reservoir, oruse the captured water for cooking an/or drinking, oruse the captured water for household uses such as mopping floors, orheat the captured water and use to wash dishes




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