LaPorte Water Department offers tips on pipes, faucets during this extremely cold weather

From the LaPorte Water Department Jan. 28:

“With the extreme cold snap almost here, people are wondering whether they should run a trickle of water to keep pipes from freezing. And some worry about the cost of doing it. Running a trickle of water is far less costly than paying a plumber to repair frozen pipes or to thaw them out.

“Our crew repaired a water main break yesterday and is in the process of repairing another one today, but those are caused by the forces in the ground from frost heave or penetration to greater depths. This movement in the ground sometimes puts too much force on the pipe and causes it to crack. It is not because the frost is 5 feet into the ground. The average depth of city water mains is about 5’6”. Service lines to houses start at that depth and get slightly shallower as they run to the house. On average right now we are seeing about 18” of frozen ground under paved surfaces. It is much less in areas where snow is not removed.

“If your home has experienced a frozen underground line in the past, then it might be time to run a trickle of water. Also, if you haven’t made sure that your pipes are protected from the cold air, it could be an issue. Make sure that any pipes that are enclosed in cabinets have exposure to warm air. Also make sure that any gaps in basement walls or around doors and windows to basements are sealed to keep the cold air out.

“Our staff will be working around the clock to make sure that the water keeps flowing (hopefully inside the pipes only) and repairing any issues that come up. They are experienced and highly qualified. We don’t like this weather better than anybody else, but we are up to the task and will get through it.

“If you see water flowing where it shouldn’t be, please call us right away at 326-9540. An operator is on duty 24 hours a day. If you get a recording, please leave a message as the operator could be on the other line or performing other duties. Think spring!”

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