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125 W. Main Street Sun Prairie, WI 53590   608.837.5500

Freezing Temperatures

This is proving to be one of the coldest winter seasons on record, already, and Jimmy the Groundhog predicts six more weeks of this stuff. The duration and frequency of the extreme cold temperatures has been driving the frost line deeper and deeper across the region. Sun Prairie Utilities is alerting the community about the potential of frozen water lines. We have seen  19 frozen laterals as of Mar. 6 and recommend that residents run a stream of water.

Sun Prairie Utilities has been monitoring the local frost line depth and will continue to do so. It was last measured around 4 ½ feet which is deeper than normal. Most water main and service laterals in Sun Prairie are buried around 6 feet or more below grade. The risk of frozen water lines is with static water, with zero or no flow over an extended period of time. Most households with average daily use should have enough water flow through the premise to likely not freeze. Buildings with limited to no water flow over extended periods would be a prime candidate for frozen lateral if the frost line continues to deepen.

If you have experienced frozen later laterals in the past, or fear that your premise is at risk of freezing, you should consider running a small stream of cold water in one of your sinks or laundry tub overnight while you sleep. Buildings where there is no water use for many hours in a day might choose to leave the water stream on constant. We estimate that a constant stream would cost $.55-$.60 per day in additional charges.

The water lateral from the curb stop and into the building is the responsibility of the building owner. If the line were to freeze or become damaged it would need to be addressed by the owner at significant cost. It would also mean being without water for possibly several days. Running a water stream might be the cheaper alternative. At this point Sun Prairie Utilities does not plan on making any billing adjustments for this preventative measure. Please contact the Sun Prairie Utilities office at 837-5500 if you have any questions.

Posted on Thursday, Feb 06, 2014