Sunday, August 2, 2015

Frozen water lines still a problem

As Public Works keeps working at thawing frozen water lines, the town also continues to receive several new reports each day.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said the town got nine reports of frozen water lines yesterday, in addition to nine on Tuesday and eight on Monday.

This brings the total up to 179 since January.
Public Works has thawed 160, meaning they had 19 to get to as of yesterday afternoon.
Brown reminded the public to please “bleed” their water line if “you had a frozen water service line in the past or you go away for the weekend, or if a home on your block becomes frozen this winter.”
“Also, the bleed or water stream should be a pencil width from your nearest first cold water tap where the water service line comes into your home,” he added.
Brown said people should not stop bleeding until further notice, which probably will be the last week in April or the first or second week of May, depending on the spring thaw.
“Do not stop bleeding when it is starting to warm up as the frost is still in the ground,” he warned.
Frozen pipes usually are thawed using a machine that’s like a large battery charger, which runs current through the 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.
Frozen water lines have become a problem all over the region this winter.
And while communities like Atikokan have requested to borrow the town’s equipment, Brown has had to say no in order to put local water customers first.
Questions? Call Public Works at 274-9893 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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