Despite warmer weather, more frozen water lines reported in Austin

Published 5:02 pm Saturday, March 15, 2014

Austin isn’t in the clear yet when it comes to frozen water lines.

Austin Utilities officials say residents have recently reported more frozen lines even as the weather has improved.

About 159 frozen lines were reported as of Friday afternoon, according to Engineering Supervisor Keven Maxa. That’s 10 more than the official count done last Tuesday, Maxa said.

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The deep frost permeating the ground hasn’t yet thawed and likely won’t for the next few weeks. Yet some residents have mistakenly turned their running water off due to the recent warmer weather.

“A lot of the public has a misconception with warmer temperatures,” Maxa said. “We’ve had numerous reports of people shutting off their running water because they think the warmer weather has thawed their line. And within hours or days, it’s froze up.”

Maxa said frozen water lines are all over town and have affected all kinds of properties, new and old. In addition, he has heard of many other Minnesota cities facing similar issues.

Residents should continue checking their water temperature and run water if temperatures drop below 40 degrees.