The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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February 26, 2014

Water company offers advice, tips to thwart freezing pipes

CLINTON — Despite a rise in temperatures over the past week, the Clinton area is still being plagued by frozen water lines and water main breaks.

Iowa American Water external affairs manager Lisa Reisen said that while the air temperature begins to warm up over the course of the next month or so, the surface of the ground is still frozen.

“One of the things that people misunderstand is the service lines are buried in the ground and the frost is really deep,” Reisen said. “We feel like it’s spring but its not spring underground and it’s going to take a while to thaw out.”

So far this year, Iowa American Water Co. has repaired 26 frozen water lines throughout the city, and while water main breaks are part of the business, this year has been worse than those in the past.

Typically the hazardous season is from November to March, but with the severity of the winter that has presented this year, Reisen anticipates they could have service interruptions well into April.

“Typically we’ll see a decline around the end of March but in recent years we have been pretty spoiled,” Reisen said. “We hope the worst is behind us but you never know.”

When a water main breaks and is the responsibility of Iowa American Water, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days to repair. Crews who are sent out to repair the break must dig out the area affected, locating the specific leak and place a clamp to seal it.

And, with more than 4 feet of frost deep into the ground, that process can become a lengthy one.

In order to avoid the repair process, Iowa American Water developed a series of preventative measures it takes as well as encourage homeowners to take.

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