Janesville Water Utility identifies street segments where pipes are vulnerable to freezing

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Marcia Nelesen
Monday, February 17, 2014

JANESVILLE--Janesville Water Utility officials have identified 54 street segments where water service pipes are vulnerable to freezing.

Officials are recommending people living along those blocks continuously run a pencil-thick stream of water from a faucet.

Those in the so-called vulnerable areas will not be charged for the additional water used and will not be charged for thawing pipes if they freeze.

Workers are gauging those areas at risk by measuring the water temperature at nearby fire hydrants. They also are considering where other freezes occurred.

Structures on cul de sacs or dead-end streets appear to be more susceptible because the water doesn't run as freely, said Dave Botts, utility director.

Properties on the south end of town—south of Memorial Drive or East Milwaukee Street—particularly those on dead-end streets, have been identified as vulnerable to freeze-ups.

“Those on the edges of the system, where it's just not moving around very much, are the main problems,” Botts said.

Service pipes are freezing as ground frost pushes deeper than it has in recent history because of the bitter cold.

Residents should continue to check the list of vulnerable areas listed on the city website because it will be updated as pipes freeze or water temperatures fall.

Officials in some cities are requesting that all residents run their water and are offering to pay for the additional water used.

Janesville Water Utility staff has determined the system “overall doesn't have that potential problem that we need everybody in town to run water,” Botts said.

“We're trying to focus on these areas that we feel have a greater potential for freezing,” he said.

Residents who are concerned about their pipes freezing can call the water utility for advice.

Residents who suspect their water service is vulnerable to freezing can reduce that possibility by running a pencil-thick stream of water, Bott said.

Those who do not live in vulnerable areas can choose to run their water but will have to pay for that water.

They also will be charged if workers are called to thaw their pipes if the freeze is on the resident-side of the stop box. They might be eligible for a credit if their area is declared to be vulnerable, Botts said.

To be eligible for a credit, residents must live in a vulnerable area and notify the water utility office of their intention to run a faucet continuously.

Credits will be active from the date the office is notified.

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