Tricounty News

City residents encouraged to run their water taps

Because of cold temperatures for such a long time now, this year’s frost is deeper than usual, and going deeper each day. The problem will continue for weeks, perhaps months.

The cities of Eden Valley, Kimball, and Watkins encourage residents at risk of freezing water or sewer lines to run a tap, with a steady flow about the width of a pencil, until further notice. All three cities will adjust water bills IF you contact the city offices first. The flow per month is calculated to be about 10,800 gallons; in Kimball
that would be $21.60.

Don’t run water while you’re away if your sewer line is frozen or may freeze.

Water lines can freeze within an hour or two. It can cost hundreds of dollars to thaw water or sewer lines. Running cold water, a pencil-width flow, is an inexpensive way to prevent expensive problems.

We have included information about preventing freeze-up of water and sewer lines in the past two weeks’ Tri-County News. But it’s important enough to bring you the information again.

Again, let the city know you are running extra water to prevent a freeze. Keep the water running until someone from Public Works tell you to stop.

Eden Valley, Kimball, and Watkins will adjust your water bills. South Haven does not have such an arrangement, that we know of. Call them if you have freezing problems there.

If your water usage is low, experts recommend filling a bathtub with hot water and letting it all go down the drain, once a day.

Find the nearest faucet to where the water line comes into the building, and run that tap. Run just one tap in the building.

Make sure that room air can circulate around water pipes; move storage and furniture from the area.

Heat tape on the water pipe where it comes into the building will help prevent a freeze there.

If pipes freeze, use a warm hair dryer and nothing hotter.

Test the temperature of your cold tap water. Run the water for five minutes then collect a cupful and use a meat thermometer to take the temperature. It should be around 45 degrees. If the water temperature drops below 40 degrees, frost may be dangerously close to your water line, and it could freeze soon. Running a steady stream of water (running a tap) will help prevent the freeze-up of the line.

Let your neighbors know if you’re running water and will be away, or if your pipes have frozen. The freeze risk may be shared in neighborhoods. 

There are contractors in the area with the proper equipment to safely thaw water and sewer lines. Call your city office for a list.

Water and sewer lines under areas that have been cleared of snow (like sidewalks or parking lots) are at greater risk of freezing. Snow is insulating the pipes.

City of Eden Valley, 453-5454, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City of Kimball, 398-2725, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City of South Haven, 236-2424, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City of Watkins, 764-6400, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.