by Dennis Dalman
There have been about 20 pipe freeze-ups in Sartell since this long, brutal winter began.
In the past two weeks, the problem seems to have gotten better, Sartell Public Works Director Brad Borders told the city council at its Feb. 24 meeting.
It could be worse, Borders noted. So far, St. Cloud has had about 200 pipe freeze-ups, while Waite Park and Sauk Rapids have had about 30 each. Sauk Rapids had four pipe freeze-ups in just one day – the morning of Feb. 24.
The likeliest place for freeze-ups, Borders noted, is at a residence located in a cul de sac.
There is still one stubborn place in Sartell where a pipe freeze-up just cannot be thawed for one reason or another – at a townhouse. Borders said the people there were placed on a temporary water hook-up until spring arrives.
A city advisory states that residents, to prevent pipeline freeze-ups, might want to keep their water running from a faucet in a trickle about the size of the width of a pencil. The water-bill increase, perhaps a dollar or more per day, will be less expensive than getting a frozen pipe thawed.
Since below-zero overnight temperatures are predicted, at this point, well into early March, at least, residents might want to remember this method: Take the temperature of water coming into the residence. From the faucet nearest to the pipe where water comes into the house, fill a glass with water. Place a thermometer in the water and note the temperature several times per day and in the evening. If the temperature remains steady, the pipe probably won’t freeze. If the temperature of the water samples begins to decrease, open the faucet and let a pencil-thin trickle of water run.