What to look for
If you see any of the following signs of a water main break, please call the Water Division at 319-286-5900:
- Water leaking around a metal cap on the ground and has “water” stamped on the top.
- Water leaking out of a fire hydrant nozzle cap
- Water seeping up out of the ground around a fire hydrant
- Water seeping up either out of the ground or pavement area within the city right of way
- Water pouring out of a building at or near the foundation
- Your water service line leaking on your property
If the leak occurs on a service line, it is the responsibility of the property owner to repair the line. The repairs must be made by a licensed plumber. The Cedar Rapids Water Division will notify property owners when a service line leak is detected. More information about water service lines and water service line insurance.
Water Service Outages
There are two types of water outages, scheduled and emergency. Scheduled outages include outages required for maintenance, repair, or alteration of the system. Emergency outages include outages caused by water main breaks or system damage. In the case of a scheduled outage, every attempt will be made to notify all customers expected to be effected by the outage. Typically crews will go door-to-door the day prior to the scheduled outage. If there is no answer, a door hanger will be left typically on the front door. In the case of an emergency outage, it may be impossible to notify customers.
When the Water Comes Back On
There will likely be air in your water service piping when the water is turned back on. It is a good idea to run cold water after an outage through a faucet that does not have an aerator screen. Bathtubs and hose bibs are good candidates. Open faucets slowly to allow the air to escape. Air will make a spurting or hissing sound as it escapes through the faucet. Once the water is flowing allow the faucet to run for a minute or two. The first water may be cloudy due to air in the water or particles that dislodge as the pipes fill with water. The cloudiness should clear fairly quickly. If the water does not clear in a couple minutes and the cloudiness appears throughout the house, please contact the Utilities Water Division at 319-286-5900 for assistance.
If kitchen or bathroom faucets do not perform normally following a water outage, it may be necessary to remove the aerator screen. Typically, the aerator can simply be unscrewed from the faucet. Inspect the screen for small particles and rinse away any you find. Reinstall the aerator and test performance of the faucet again. If you experience difficulties such as low pressure throughout the house following a water outage call Utilities Water Division at 319-286-5900 for assistance.