Over the last few days, we have fielded a lot of questions about how to deal with the impact of the winter weather. From navigating through a boil water advisory to how to turn off your water if you have a busted pipe, all are great questions that we would like to try and address. So, we’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help you maneuver through the next several days as we warm up and thaw out!
BOIL WATER ADVISORY
- How long should I boil my water? Bring water to a rolling boil for at least two minutes then allow it to cool before use.
- Can I brush my teeth? Yes, but the water you use to brush must be boiled first.
- Can I shower? Yes, but be careful when washing your face, and DO NOT swallow the water.
- Can I wash clothes? Yes, it is safe to wash clothes in tap water. However, we are being asked to conserve the electricity associated with washing and drying clothes for the next few days.
- What caused the water shortage in neighboring communities? The City of Fort Worth experienced main breaks and power/equipment failures at the pump station that provides water to Southlake and Keller.
- Why did Westlake not lose water? While the City of Fort Worth provides water to Westlake, Keller, Southlake, and Roanoke, Southlake and Keller’s water is delivered from a different pump station and water lines than the system that serves Westlake and Roanoke.
- What’s the status of Westlake’s pump station? So far, our pump station has not experienced any disruptions in service.
- What’s the Town doing to help prepare for any water issues? As of this morning, we’ve filled our water tanks to 100% capacity and our backup generators are ready to supply power if needed.
- Who should I call if I have a power outage? Please call your provider to report outages, DO NOT call 911.
- Should I unplug my appliances during an outage? It's strongly recommended that expensive electronics be unplugged during an outage to protect them from power surges when electricity is restored.
- Why do my neighbors have power, and I don’t? You may be on a different feeder or transformer from your neighbors. The service line to your home may have been damaged and need repairs before your home can be reconnected.
- Are generators dangerous? Generators can release poisonous carbon monoxide if you use them inside your home. If you're using one, keep it outside, about 20 feet away from your home.
- What’s the status of our natural gas? Even as the weather warms and producers are working to bring on more supplies, it remains important that all residents and businesses continue to be vigilant in their conservation efforts.
- Will there be outages? These natural gas supply constraints may lead to service outages for some customers. If service is interrupted, restoration may take an extended period of time.
- What can I do to help? Everyone can continue to help by lowering the thermostat to 68 degrees or less, setting the water heater temperature to 120 degrees.
- What happens if I lose power? Those who experience an electrical outage may turn off the furnace. One of the easiest ways may be to turn it off at the thermostat. Then, after the power comes back on, wait for 10 to 15 minutes before restarting the furnace. This may help the natural gas system adjust to a sudden increase in usage.
- How do I thaw a busted pipe? Use a space heater or hairdryer and point them directly toward the frozen pipe. Wrapping a heating pad around the pipe may work as well. It may take several hours to thaw so please monitor it closely.
- If a pipe is frozen, should I turn the faucet on or off? Keep the faucet open. As you treat the frozen pipe and it begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water through the pipe will help melt the ice.
- What if I can’t find where the pipe is frozen? If you are unable to locate the frozen area, the frozen area is not accessible, or if you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber immediately. We are hearing it may take a few days to have someone out to provide service; however, you will be on their service list as soon as they are able to get out and be of help.
- What should I do if I have a busted pipe? The first thing is to quickly turn off the water to your entire home. The box is usually beside your driveway near the street, underground. To see how to turn off the water yourself, please watch this short video that will walk you through it.
- What if I can’t turn the water off myself? Then immediately call 911 and our Westlake Fire-EMS team will respond to help.
- How do I know I have a busted pipe if I can’t see the water leaking? Changes in water pressure, water discoloration, strange sounds when turning on the water, watermarks on ceiling/floors are all indicators that you may have a busted pipe.
- What if my fire sprinkler busts? Same as any other pipe, either try and turn it off yourself by using the valve in your garage or call 911 to help.
- Should I drain my fire sprinkler line to help prevent a busted pipe? NO, we do not recommend you turn off or drain your fire sprinkler if there is no existing issue. A fire could cause more damage than a busted pipe.
- How often are roads being treated? Town crews treat the local (internal) streets several times a day with TxDOT treating local highways.
- How do I report a trouble spot? You can call Westlake’s Director of Facilities and Public Works, Troy Meyer, at 817-829-6974.
- What if we need roads treated inside our gated community? Since they are private streets, please contact your HOA representative who can assist you.
- What do I do when there are flashing traffic signals? The flashing lights are caused by the power issues the area is experiencing. When you see them, treat the intersection as a 4-way stop sign. That means stop first, watch for crossing traffic, then proceed with caution through the intersection.