Friday, August 1, 2014

Frozen lines still a problem

With the cold snap refusing to let up, the town continues to get more and more reports of residents’ water lines freezing.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said that as of yesterday afternoon, Public Works had gotten calls about 48 frozen service lines.

A total of 39 are residents who experienced freezing in previous years while nine are new cases, he noted.
Brown conceded it would be wasteful if every water customer in town ran their taps.
But he urged those with a history of frozen service lines, or those living in the same neigbourhood where freezes have been occurring this winter, to keep a constant flow of water going through at least one tap in their homes.
This only has to be a small stream (no thicker than a pencil) of cold water left running from a tap closest to where their waterline connects to the home.
Even if they go away for the weekend, residents should consider running a stream to ensure the water always is moving through the service line.
Brown stressed thawing frozen lines is inconvenient and costs money—whether it’s the town or property owner picking up the tab.
Frozen pipes usually are thawed using a machine that’s like a large battery charger, which runs current through the service line between the property and the main water line—heating up the pipe and melting the ice.
Public Works also uses a “pulse de-icer,” which shoots hot water into the line in pulses, melting the ice plug.
Either the town or the homeowner has to pay for the service, depending on whether it occurred on town-owned or private property.
The standard charge is $155.28/hour but it costs more if a crew is called out after-hours, on weekends, or on holidays.
Questions? Call Public Works at 274-9893 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

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