MetCom’s Advice on Preparing for Winter Weather

January 7, 2020

While the area braces for the first winter storm of the season, the Metropolitan Commission is taking necessary steps to prepare for the forecasted weather.

While snow storms do not necessarily increase the number of water main breaks in our system, road conditions may cause logistical and safety challenges for our field crews. This could mean longer than normal service disruptions in the event of a needed emergency repair.

MetCom is preparing for the storm in the following ways:

  • Keeping and maintaining the water distribution system as full as possible during the storm.
  • Updating the emergency contact list for our electrical supplier in the event of a power outage at vital facilities.
  • Testing and topping off mobile equipment including generators to provide temporary power if an outage occurs.
  • Preparing snow removal and salting equipment at key locations.
  • Securing contractor support in the event of an extreme weather event.

Should customers encounter water or sewer service issues during the storm they should call MetCom’s Emergency Call Center at 301.373.5305.

  • Please conserve water in the event of a power outage.
  • If your property is serviced by a grinder pump and you experience a power outage, conserve water until power is restored.  It is normal for the sewage grinder pump to alarm for several minutes once electrical power is restored; however please contact MetCom at 301.373.5305 if the alarm continues.
  • In the event weather conditions affect MetCom operations, we will inform the media and provide updates. Customers can stay updated by visiting  We will provide status updates as often as we are able to do so.

While MetCom does not generally maintain the pipes on private property, homeowners can take these steps to lessen the impact on the pipes in their homes during the winter months.

  • Tightly close doors and windows to the outside.
  • Turn off water to outside faucets.
  • Insulate outside walls, pipes and water meters. Consult with your plumber or hardware store about proper materials.
  • Consider signing up for our voluntary month-to-month warrantee program that includes thawing and frozen pipe coverage offered thru Service Line Warranties of America.

Additionally, be prepared in case of frozen pipes or a longer than normal period of time without water service.

  • Do NOT use a blow torch to thaw the pipe. Instead try a hair dryer.
  • Have extra water on hand. At least one gallon a day per person (more if you have pets).
  • Fill clean containers with MetCom tap water.
  • Fully charge cell phones and update important contact information.
  • Property owners are responsible for their own pipes. If you are unsure if you have a frozen or broken pipe MetCom recommends homeowners call a licensed plumber.