WHY SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT WINTERIZING?
As a water purveyor, Sun Cove is responsible for monitoring its overall water use in an effort to maintain reasonable production numbers. Sun Cove does not have unlimited water rights; its cap is 119.26 million gallons a year. To ensure that the Association does not exceed this limit, the Water Manager is tasked with monitoring and, to the best of his ability, mitigating "leak loss" (the amount of water lost to burst pipes, stuck toilet flappers, broken valves, etc.). Meter reads are taken in order to ensure that the water system is performing properly and not hemorrhaging water due to leaks.
Even if water consumption wasn't a concern, Sun Cove members should care about winterizing their property in order to avoid potential devastating water damage. Every year someone's property experiences some sort of leak due to burst pipes, in-house and /or outside/irrigation, which is entirely avoidable if the property is winterized. During the 2013 winter alone, four houses within Sun Cove suffered major water damage from these leakages. Damage can occur due to issues with burst pipes in both exterior (i.e., lawn, irrigation) and interior (house, garage) settings.
Winterization, i.e., shutting off the water to your house, is extremely vital, as this area of Washington State can get very cold, and has a frostline of perhaps eighteen inches or more. This is a recipe for pipes to freeze and break.
Simply shutting off the water at the meter or at the shutoff within your own house could potentially save you thousands of dollars.
Consider this excerpt from an article from Sauk Plains Plumbing and Pumps:
According to State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, each year about a quarter of a million homes suffer from frozen water pipes that burst and leak, causing water damage to personal property. The result is, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety, payments in the past decade by all insurance companies for losses of that type have exceeded $4 billion.