ALABAMA (WHNT) – After days of bone-chilling weather leading to dripping faucets throughout the Tennessee Valley, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management is now asking residents and businesses to stop the practice once temperatures are above freezing.

On Monday, ADEM said several public water systems in the state have been experiencing excessive water loss and are struggling to keep up with consumer demand.

As frozen pipes thaw, leaks are also making the issue worse.

On Tuesday, North Marshall Utilities asked customers to conserve water and suggested that vacation homeowners check their properties for water leaks.

ADEM said the public can help by checking for leaks inside and outside the home or business. If you find a leak, shut off the water supply until it is repaired.

If you have a major leak and are not able to shut off the water supply, contact your local water company for help.

As an alternative to leaving outdoor faucets dripping, ADEM suggested installing insulated covers to protect those fixtures. Insulated covers are inexpensive, easy to install, and available at multiple retailers.

ADEM also suggested that if you have a building where water service isn’t imperative, to turn off the water at the meter and drain the lines from the lowest spigot on the property. Leave the faucet on and turn the water back on after the outside temperatures rise above freezing.