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Water and Light hears freezing pipes update

WORTHINGTON — Scott Hain told the Water and Light Commission Monday that it’s been a crazy winter.

Manager of the Worthington Public Utilities, Hain said the prolonged cold has caused issues with water pipes freezing.

“This is certainly something that’s been an issue across the state,” Hain said.

The service line from the main to the customer premises has been the issue, as of late.

“Our policy is, from the curb stop to the meter, is owned and is the responsibility of the customer,” Hain said.

Within the last couple of weeks, he said WPU has received 15 phone calls of customers without water.

“We’ve been going out and going into the basement, snaking the line out,” Hain said. “If it can be definitively identified as frozen on their side of the curb stop, they need to contact a plumber.”

What they have been finding, he said, was the freezing is occurring at the curb stop or between that and the main.

“What we have found is a vast majority of these freezes are areas that are uninsulated,” Hain said.

The problems sometimes occur when water isn’t running through the pipes. Other communities have asked residents to keep the water running.

“We’re not in a real good situation to have people running water,” Hain said, referring to the ongoing drought.

It has been a while since WPU has had frozen lines.

“Water Superintendent Eric (Roos) just had his 10th anniversary here and he had never dealt with a frozen service line,” Hain said.

The people who have had frozen service lines have been asked to leave water running. However, those customers’ bills will be adjusted accordingly.

“I’m hoping I’m wrong, but I’m thinking it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” Hain said.

In other action, the commission approved a new customer credit policy.