Communities still struggling with freezing pipes

MGN Online
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ELK MOUND, Wis. (WEAU)- Despite the weather warm up local communities say they aren't in the clear yet when it comes to deep frost levels impacting water service.
Since last month dozens of communities in our viewing area have asked people to keep their faucets on in an effort to prevent pipes from freezing.

Several of those communities are still asking people to run a pencil-thin stream of water.

The City of Altoona, the Village of Augusta, the Village of Fall Creek and the Village of Elk Mound all say they are waiting to see if the warmer weather this week will impact the frost depth.

“We started looking into the run water situation which is difficult especially when it comes to the billing aspect and many people are concerned about the wasted water as well,” Elk Mound Public Works Director Terry Stamm said.

The Village of Elk Mound says they have been monitoring water levels coming through the waste water treatment plant since the village issued a run water notice to everyone living in the village. Over time the public works director says the village has noticed a trend.

“When we first had the run water notice we could see the increase in our water treatment plant pumpmage. Overtime we saw it start to drop likely because people stopped running their water,” Stamm explained.

So how much water are you really sending down the drain when you run a pencil thin stream of water down the drain around the clock? It takes around three minutes and fifteen seconds to fill a one gallon jug with water. When you do the math it all adds up to around 440 gallons of water per day of extra water being sent down the drain.

Stamm said he could not verify how much extra water had been used in Elk Mound since the village issued the run water notice. He added right the village did not know the exact cost of the extra water usage.

“We tried to keep it to one billing period but now we realize it’s going to extend into another billing period. We aren't sure where this weather is going to go but we are optimistic that we can remove the run water notice soon,” Stamm added.

While Elk Mound says it is footing the bill for the extra water usage, other places like the City of Altoona say they will issue credits on water bills only if customers have been put on the cities "trickling list". The Village of Augusta says it is also offering credits toward future bills for those who comply with the run water notice.

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