Worst Week For Frozen Pipes This Winter

The cold weather is pushing frost deeper and deeper into the ground and freezing water mains and pipes.

Utilities Resources Manager for Wausau Water Works, Deb Geier said this has been the worst week for frozen pipes since 1994.

There have been about 400 frozen pipe incidences so far this winter in Wausau alone. Crews said many of those they were thawing out Monday froze for the first time this season.

Right now frost can be found as deep as six and a half to seven feet down. Most pipes are about six feet down. Last year, frost reached only about three and a half feet deep, but typical frost depth is at about five feet.

"We've had how many weeks now of subzero temperatures at night and it just does push the frost down," said Geier. "When it does warm up, that also will push the frost down, so we expect that we've got a long run here yet where it's going to be worse before it gets better."

Geier said you'll notice a drop in pressure if your pipes start to freeze, but much of the freezing happens overnight. Crews were out thawing pipes all day and some worked into the early morning.

Geier said you can run water to help prevent this, although some residents said they ran water and still had pipes freeze. If you're out of an advisory area, the added cost to your water bill will be at your own expense. If your pipes do freeze up, you are asked to call your water utility provider.

A Portage County school is also seeing the affects of frozen pipes. The Stevens Point Journal reported students at Bancroft Elementary School actually had to be relocated to the Almond-Bancroft School District building Monday because of frozen water pipes.


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