The prolonged periods of cold temperatures well below seasonal norms have increased the risk of water lines freezing across the Simcoe Muskoka region.
Municipal and private water service lines are installed at a depth that is below the historic average frost line, but this year the frost has been driven deeper, creating the risk that some homes or businesses may lose their water supply.
Here's some good advice from the American Red Cross on preventing and thawing frozen water pipes.
Running a single tap at a slow trickle in the house could prevent frost from building up in the water lines.
Whether your water stops running because the power's out (for example if you are on a well) or the lines freeze, the safety precautions are the same: Learn what to do.
Child care settings
If there is no running water in a child care centre, call the health unit. Special measures must be taken.
Restaurants and other food services
If there is no water services to your establishment, you must suspend operations until it is restored. This is law, under the Ontario Food Premises Regulation.
Once water is restored, you should run the water for five (5) minutes to ensure that the lines are free of contaminants.
If your business is using a small drinking water system, you need to restore the treatment system and ensure proper disinfection when the water is flowing again.