Lake Elmo advises residents to prevent frozen pipes

Lake Elmo is urging its residents, especially those living in the Old Village area, to let the water run from their faucets until further notice.

Due to dozens of extremely cold days this winter, frost has crept 8 to 10 feet down in paved areas that aren’t covered by snow, which acts as insulation. According to the city, that’s the depth at which the city’s main water pipes rest, likely leading to disruptive freeze-ups.

Residents are advised to run a continuous stream of water a minimum of a quarter inch in diameter (the size of a pencil). Many other Minnesota cities have been recommending the same precautionary measure in order to prevent water service lateral pipes from freezing.

Water bills will be adjusted for the water that’s run by using a historic average of winter quarter usage.

City officials also announced that:

• Residents will be responsible for the cost of thawing the pipes.

• If signs of freezing show (if the stream of water reduces in volume or pressure, or if water is discolored), customers should run the water at full stream for five minutes to melt the line.

• Residents should be sure to tell others in the house not to turn off the water.

• In the case of a freeze-up, the Lake Elmo Public Works Department can be reached at 651-747-3940.

If residents are running water continuously to prevent frozen pipes, they should call the city’s main number at 651-747-3900, and provide their name and address.

— Kaitlyn Roby

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