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Cottonwood Shores insulating water system pipes against deep freeze

Cottonwood Shores water tower pipes

The city of Cottonwood Shores is adding insulation to its water system, including on exposed pipes at its water tower. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

Crews in Cottonwood Shores are insulating exposed pipes in the city’s water system to better protect them from Mother Nature. The work began Monday, Jan. 10, and should be completed the following week, City Administrator J.C. Hughes said.

“Commercial insulation is higher-density insulation,” he said of the materials wrapped around the pipes. “It’s not what you see in your attic. They’re installed with an aluminum jacket around the insulation. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve. As long as we can get (pipes) insulated, we can survive a short period of time without electricity.”

During the big freeze in February 2021, Cottonwood Shores residents went about a week without water due to frozen pipes.

On Monday, workers began wrapping pipes at the city’s water tower.

“The insulation company is insulating any and all exposed pipes around the tower,” Hughes said. “These are huge, 8-inch, thick-walled pipe. But, as we found out last year, it can be an issue. They can freeze solid. Even without electricity at the tower, if the pipes are insulated properly, it’ll keep them from freezing. They are the highest elevated and most exposed to the elements”

The next job is to cover exposed pipes at the water plant. 

Workers also poured a concrete foundation near the raw water intake pumps at the plant in order to construct a building to house them, Hughes said.

“These are the two pumps that take water out of the reservoir,” he said. “They’re the most critical pumps at the plant.”