As subzero days drag on, water lines freezing across Minnesota

  • Article by: Nicole Norfleet , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 27, 2014 - 2:52 PM

Freezing temperatures are damaging older pipes as cities struggle to help residents, some of whom are using buckets of water for daily use.

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birdpeepFeb. 26, 1410:33 PM

If this doesn't prove we are causing nstoppable global warming, I don't know what will!

bosshogFeb. 26, 1410:44 PM

New water line installations should require insulation on pipes if they will be routed underneath areas that will be cleared of snow in the winter.

retired999Feb. 26, 1411:12 PM

codes need to changed and enforced

thefalconFeb. 26, 1411:22 PM

Its global warming its global warming!

bcarefulFeb. 26, 1411:44 PM

Willing to bet most of the issues are happening in older construction. Current code in most cities requires the watermain to be buried to 7.5 feet minimum these days. As to the councilmember saying the city should do more to be responsible for delivering water, its real simple: The City is responsible up to and including the water valve at the property line. After that, its the homeowners issue. The line of responsibility has to be drawn somewhere...

erikj3Feb. 27, 1412:06 AM

Maybe someone should do something to repair these old water mains? Just a thought...

jplamp9Feb. 27, 14 4:38 AM

50 years of politicians kicking the can down the road. Infrastructure investment only occurs when there's a crisis unfortunately and not before then.

JsaVetFeb. 27, 14 4:48 AM

As we see from the comments of the Presidents speach on infrastructure we can all assume that any investment in americas aging infrastructure is bad

owatonnabillFeb. 27, 14 6:27 AM

One has to wonder about the survival skills of our current crop of Minnesotans. Back in the day frozen pipes in houses were not uncommon. The best preventative was heat tape, which is still sold. It is a wrap wired to provide a certain amount of warmth, which is wrapped around the pipe and is then plugged in when the forecast is particularly cold and allowed to do it's thing. Actual frozen pipes necessitated a bit different action: turn on the tap, grab the Bernz-O-Matic torch, and start warming. You turned on the tap because you needed to start the warming closest to the tap: starting in the middle meant ice plugs on either side of where you're warming the pipe and you could cause it to burst. Of course, you needed to be careful not to set the adjacent wood on fire and if the pipes were PVC then great care was needed not to melt the pipe as well as the ice. Owatonnabill had a house in Bemidji at the time with a partial basement/crawl space, and he spent a few early morning hours crawling around under there with the torch when he was negligent the night before in not plugging in the heat tape. Another good preventative was banking the house with snow each fall. Snow insulates and if you have a crawl space or chronically cold basement it was a good way to conserve heat. These were things we grew up knowing. Today, it is more like bleep and moan, then call the plumber. We seem to have lost a lot.

minnexyzFeb. 27, 14 6:55 AM

owatonnabill, they are talking about the water pipes that run underground from the house to the street, your heat tape and Bernz-O-Matic aren't going to do you much good.


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