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Running Water to Prevent Frozen Pipes: Why the City Says Duluth's Not Doing It

Updated: 02/18/2014 10:59 PM
Created: 02/18/2014 6:03 PM WDIO.com

Related Story: Residents in Cities Across Northland Asked to Run Water

A growing list of Northland cities are asking residents to run water to prevent pipes from freezing, but the biggest city in the area isn't on it.

Duluth Public Works and Utility Director Jim Benning told Eyewitness News that more than 100 customers have experienced frozen pipes in the recent weeks. He said that number makes up about 0.3 percent of the city's 28,000 water customers.

According to Benning, "typically lines going to homes from mains under streets freeze" because there isn't any snow above the pipes to act as insulation.

Benning said more pipes are freezing than normal, and calls it an uncommon year. However, he said the problem isn't bad enough to warrant having all customers run water. He said it gets expensive because all of the water then needs to be treated.

Benning couldn't give us a specific threshold that needs to be met before customers would be instructed to run water, but he said if there is a dramatic spike in frozen pipes, the city will reconsider.

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