Johnnie: The water pressure at our house in northwest Longmont (just north of the hospital) has been low since Saturday, Feb. 13. Can you find the answer? Could this have anything to do with the low temperature (below zero)? — Fred
Fred: It could have.
I spoke with a master plumber about this, and I checked with the city’s Public Works Department.
“It could be that their pipes were partially frozen,” Jim Kelly, a master plumber with M and M Heating, Cooling, Plumbing and Electrical, told me. That would be particularly likely if your home has a crawl space.
“Or, if it’s a really old house with galvanized pipes, they could be rusting on the inside.”
He said that another possibility could be a malfunctioning pressure regulator valve.
Without knowing more about your home — and whether the water-pressure problem continued beyond last Monday morning, when you sent this question — it’s difficult for a plumber to come up with a more specific answer.
I learned that there was no city utility work in your part of town that could have caused low water pressure. And, according to Public Works director of operations Bob Allen, there were not any detected leaks in city-owned pipes in that area.
Longmont’s recorded lows Feb. 13-16 were 1 below, 7 below, 12 below and zero. We didn’t see above-freezing temperatures until Tuesday, so if your water pressure was back to normal by then, that suggests that the cold was the culprit.
And, if your water line froze and busted, you would have found out by now.
Allen did have a suggestion for any homeowner experiencing a problem such as yours.
“Residents who are concerned about leaks can contact the city’s Customer Service Center at 303-651-8416 or https://serviceworks.longmontcolorado.gov/ServiceWorks/CRM/ServiceRequest/ServiceRequestCategory to request an investigation,” Allen said. “Residents will need to hire a plumber to fix water leaks in their home, but the city is happy to help identify problems.”
Fred, if you do have a crawl space, Kelly said that pipe insulation or heating tape can help keep pipes from freezing.
Hello, Johnnie: You wrote an article on the smell and algae in Little Gaynor Lake back in 2016. The county was using some sort of circulation method as a remedy.
I’m just wondering if you have any follow up for the lake. I believe it still smells. — Amie
Hello, Amie: I did answer a question about Little Gaynor in 2016.
However, the issue with the lake isn’t algae. Here’s an explanation from that answer 4½ years ago.
Little Gaynor lake is a “prairie pothole,” a naturally occurring basin that holds groundwater while collecting a little runoff from its surrounding micro-watershed. It doesn’t have an outlet, so the water becomes stagnant,…