Feature Articles

How to Prevent Frozen Pipes

Cold weather has arrived, and that can mean bad news for water pipes. The Johnson City Water and Sewer Services Department encourages residents to follow these tips to protect their pipes. These precautions are especially important when homeowners are out of town and temperatures are below freezing.

Eliminate drafts – Keep doors and windows in the basement and garage tightly closed. Close off crawl space vents and doors, and seal cracks in basement or crawl space walls.

Insulate – Insulate pipes in unheated portions of the house such as exterior walls, crawl spaces, basements, cabinets or any enclosure where air can't circulate. Be alert for damp insulation; water soaked insulation can cause a freeze-up.

Protect meter – Make sure the meter box cover is not broken, missing or ajar. These conditions allow freezing cold air to penetrate the box's insulation. Report missing or broken covers to the Water and Sewer Services Department at (423)461-1645.

Protect outside faucets – Outside faucets and sprinkler systems should be drained. Garden hoses should be disconnected and drained. Any space between faucet and exterior wall should be caulked. Check with your plumber about frost-proof faucets.

Drain pipes if leaving town – When away from home for extended periods and heat is not left on, turn water off at cutoff and drain the lines.

Leave faucet running – When temperatures reach low teens, leave a very thin stream of water running continuously from at least one tap. It is important to note, however, that faucets left running may have an adverse effect on septic tanks. Other precautions should be taken.

Open cabinet doors – If a sink is on an outside wall, open vanity or cabinet doors to allow warm air to reach water pipes.

Thaw carefully – Never use an open flame to thaw a frozen pipe. Use hot air from a hair dryer, vacuum cleaner exhaust, heat tape or light bulb.

Locate shut-off valve – Don't wait until a water pipe is broken to find the shut-off valve. While the Water and Sewer Services Department is responding to your emergency call, you will be able to minimize your damage by quickly stopping the flow of water. The City's plumbing code requires a shut-off valve. This is usually located inside near where the main water line enters the house. It may also be located in the basement, beneath the floor, in the garage or utility room. Check with your builder or plumber to assist in locating the shut-off valve.

For more information about water pipe maintenance, click here to watch our video, or contact Water and Sewer Services at (423)461-1645.

Senior Services offers ETSU basketball outings

Senior Services at Memorial Park Community Center, 510 Bert St., will offer those age 50 and up tickets and transportation from MPCC to Freedom Hall Civic Center for two ETSU men’s basketball home games.

• Jan. 20th: ETSU vs. Western Carolina. Register/buy ticket by Jan. 13th.
• Feb. 3rd: ETSU vs. Chattanooga. Register/buy ticket by Jan. 27th.

The bus leaves MPCC at 3 p.m. and returns at 6:30 p.m. for both games. Participants must use transportation provided by Senior Services. Cost is $5 per game. Please register in person at MPCC. For more information, call 423-491-6237.

2017 Property Taxes Due Jan. 2nd

The City of Johnson City property taxes for 2017 are due by Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018. Penalty and interest will begin to accrue on Jan. 3. The City is not responsible for remittance errors made by banks, mortgage companies or taxpayers and therefore cannot waive penalties and interest resulting from such errors.

Taxes may be paid at the Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St., Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or may be mailed to the City of Johnson City, PO Box 2227, Johnson City, TN 37605. Payments online (here) or via phone (877-768-5048) will incur a fee. Tax bill number and credit/debit card number will be required for online and phone payments.

JCPD encourages citizens to "See Something, Say Something"

‘Tis the season for family, fellowship and large gatherings of people. With the holiday season upon us, the Johnson City Police Department encourages citizens to be aware of their surroundings at special events. Though being aware of one’s surroundings is good advice any time of the year, the holiday season is an excellent time to remind the public of this safety practice.

“Our police department depends upon the public in helping ensure a safe and secure environment. A key component of that partnership is our citizens being the eyes and ears of the department for anything that looks suspicious or out of the ordinary,” said Police Chief Mark Sirois. “This awareness is often simply stated in the slogan see something, say something.”

In order to report suspicious activity, call 911. Citizens should obtain and relate as many details as possible, such as who or what they observed, at what time, where it occurred, and why it appears suspicious.

“This is a joyous time of celebration, and we hope everyone enjoys all the holiday season has to offer. At the same time, tragic events across our country can serve as a reminder for us to be mindful of suspicious behavior or activity. If anything seems out of the ordinary, report it immediately,” Sirois said.

This could include unattended bags, packages, carts or other items, as well as people who are hanging back from and watching a crowd. If the behavior or activity doesn’t seem right or seems out of place, report it to 911. “Some of these things can be completely innocent, but it’s best to let law enforcement determine that,” Sirois said. “It takes all of us working together to keep our community safe…all year.”

Lt. Becky West
Johnson City Police Department


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