There are real plumbing concerns near Arlington, VA and other cold climate areas due to the physical properties of water. This property of most concern is freezing, especially the possibility of freezing in the pipes of your home.
Most people that have lived up north know of this problem but few have actually seen what can occur because the proper precautions are usually taken to prevent it every year. Some people use the old myth that running water does not freeze. This is a fallacy once the temperatures drops well below the freezing mark for pipes above ground, but it can keep the main source of water coming into your house flowing. With just a drip at the faucet, the flow can be maintained and your water will be continuous all winter long.
For the pipes that distribute water to the different vantage points around your home, the process of dripping the faucet is not necessary. The heat from the home will keep the pipes, and the water inside, from freezing even when the temperature outside is frigid. The only possible danger points will be the faucets that are attached to the outside of the home. These are the ones that are used to wash the car and water the lawn in the summer time.
To help prevent these outside water access points from freezing and causing damage to your system, the lines should be drained of water by closing the values that are generally located in the basement. The valve that is located on the outside of the house should then be opened to drain any excess water that was in the pipe. This is done so the water does not freeze in the pipe. Freezing water expands and will cause waterline to break or burst.
The plumbing concerns in cold climate areas are real but preventable. Just respect the power of water and ice and you will have a supply of water all winter long.