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Shutdown Tips for Seasonal Systems

Shutting down a seasonal water system

Maple trees have started turning color. That means it is about time to shut down seasonal water systems. When you close for the year, inspect your system, clean it and protect it so it will be ready when you reopen the next season. See below for proper steps and precautions for shutting down a seasonal water system. This information is aimed at groundwater systems, but many steps also apply to surface water-based systems.

  • TURN OFF: Turn off the supply - the well pump or the valve from the spring.
  • DRAIN: Drain the tanks first (springbox, storage and/or pressure tanks), then drain the lines, and finally close off the valves.
  • REMOVE: Remove any devices that may be damaged by freezing for storage (hydrants? feed pumps?) and cap off the open connection points.
  • WELLHOUSE: Look for droppings, chewed papers or nesting materials and figure out how to keep rodents and insects outside and away from the wellhead. Cap all openings on the wellhead itself to prevent insects from crawling in. Check the vent screen. Drain the pressure tank if there's potential for freezing.
  • TREATMENT (if applicable): Shut off power to treatment systems. Empty the chlorine solution tank, if applicable. Check expiration dates on chemicals and testing reagents. Make sure all treatment reports were submitted and/or filed for the operating season.
  • SECURITY: Lock the pumphouse and protect it from trespassers. Note any needed fencing repairs. Store all chemicals securely at least 100 feet from the well.
  • STORAGE TANK: After draining the storage tank, inspect the following: the bottom of the tank for accumulated sediments that will need removal, the tank roof and sides for holes and cracks, and the condition of the coating on the inside and outside of the tank. Lock the tank's access hatch, making sure that insects and spiders cannot get inside the lid. Check that the screens/valves on the overflow pipe and vents are fully intact to keep insects, birds and bats out of the tank.
  • DISTRIBUTION LINES: Walk the lines, making sure they are not are exposed. Check your system for leaks. Make sure all valves are shut down at the end of the season.
  • AFTER CLOSING: Compile your operations and water quality records for the year. Note periods of peak water use and water quality problems. Use this information to plan for next year. Also, the off-season is the time to plan larger improvements to your system. Work other than repair or replacement requires the approval of Drinking Water Services before initiation.

Performing tasks at shutdown helps your water system remain in good shape and minimizes repairs when it's time to re-open.

Drain all water lines.

Look for problems that may need attention or repair during the off-season

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