Little blue flags have been popping up in yards throughout Brazil recently.
"We have marked water meter reader pits in the city because we are in the process of insulating them," Brazil City Water Superintendent Jake Raubuch told The Brazil Times. "We are getting things prepared for winter."
Many of the water lines and pipes within the city are old and have been a focus of the Water Department in recent years.
"There are a lot of line that are about 50-years-old and are made of galvanized steel," Raubuch said. "We have a major problem with leaks in those lines and, little by little, we have been trying to replace them with lines made from PVC pipe."
He added there are very few options other than the replacement of the older galvanized lines, but the process is slow due to funding issues.
"It is a major goal to replace the lines because the soil in the city wreaks havoc on them," Raubuch said. "In times when we can't afford to replace the lines, we try to bore under roads and connect the lines to bigger ones that have better pressure."
Raubuch also acknowledged the concern of potential leaks and breaks which could lead to potential boil orders as winter nears.
"When a break occurs, it can be bad enough to lose pressure in the water tower which affects the entire system," he said. "Also, the pressure outside of the pipe can become greater than inside, causing the water to be back siphoned into the system, and anytime the water pressure dips below 20 psi, we must issue a boil order."
However, he also told The Brazil Times that his department is well aware of areas where breaks could occur.
"We have done a good job of tracking the history of the lines and know where they have been fixed more than once," Raubuch said. "We also have cast iron water lines, along with the newer PVC lines, both of which hold up well."
Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times the Street Department is also preparing for winter and potentially icy roads, but things are slow moving.
"The city does not have any salt for the roads at this time," she said. "We are currently on a waiting list to purchase salt, but we have plenty of sand available for the time being."
Raubuch added it can be hard to predict what might happen because the winter season varies from year to year.
"We can't really predict how well the water lines will hold up because we don't know how cold it will be or what kind of strain the freeze/thaw effect will put on them," he said.
To report a water leak or break, call 442-1065 or contact the Water Distribution Plant at 448-1700. Raubuch said residents who discover a leak after 4 p.m. should contact the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211