Residents urged to keep running water taps to avoid frozen pipes

Kincardine council

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The Municipality of Kincardine continues to receive reports of frozen water services.

Chief administrative officer Murray Clarke says four incidents were dealt with over the past weekend and there have been more occurrences in the last few days. Since Feb. 1, the municipality has thawed 30 frozen water services on municipal property. 

Due to the current depth of frost and expected continuing cold temperatures, it is anticipated this problem will not ease for some time. 

Kincardine is not unique in this. Municipalities throughout Ontario are dealing with this issue and are requesting the same action of their residents.

In addition, there have been several reports of water pipes freezing within homes. With a quick Internet search, you will find a number of tips that may assist with helping to avoid freezing pipes within your home. The water service from the property line (curbstop) to, and inside, the house/building is the responsibility of the property owner.

Until further notice, residents are urged to continue letting a tap in their house run (about one-eighth of an inch stream - approximately the width of a pencil lead). The cost of doing so is expected to be not overly significant (less than a dollar per day) for a home. The municipal expenses incurred to thaw a line forms a cost to all water system users.

Residents should be aware that reduced water pressure in their home could be an indication of water lines freezing. If you notice this, run a tap full strength and call the water department.

Why do water lines freeze?

The frost depth (depth to which ground is frozen) does not normally reach the level of municipal buried infrastructure. However, with extremely cold temperatures, like those we have experienced this winter, frost can push to a depth that will freeze water services. As the water is already cold when it enters the water distribution system, it takes very little exposure to colder temperatures for it to freeze.

How do municipal staff thaw the lines?

Staff have been using two types of thawing equipment (hot water and electricity) to safely thaw services. Some of the services have required digging at the curb stop and the watermain to successfully thaw them. If digging is required, then snow has to be cleared and locates secured.

Who do I contact?

If you suspect your service may be freezing or has frozen, call the water department at 519-396-4660; if after hours, call the emergency line at 519-396-1511.

For more information, contact Clarke at 519-396-3018.


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Tuesday, February 25, 2014