Cities: Run water nonstop to prevent pipe freezes

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The cities of Kalamazoo and Three Rivers are advising residents to keep their water running nonstop until spring to prevent pipes from freezing.

Frost reaching deep into the ground has caused pipes to freeze on customers’ sides of meters between water mains and homes and businesses, the City of Kalamazoo says. It says it can’t keep up with an “unusual number” of requests for help and is advising that residents take preventative action to stop freezes.

Kalamazoo wants residents to run their water nonstop until April 1. It says the stream of water does not need to be larger than a toothpick.

“Please note that you should continue to run your water even if there are a few warm days at anytime prior to April 1st,” a Monday release said in part.

Kalamazoo said that as of Monday morning, it had received nearly 120 requests for help thawing frozen pipes. Of those, 25 had been thawed, two were being thawed and 16 had received alternative water services.

Crews are trying to help everyone, but there is a backlog and more requests for help are coming in. The city says it could take up to three weeks to get water back if your pipes freeze.

Three Rivers in St. Joseph County is experiencing a similar problem.

“Once your water service is frozen, there is little we can do to thaw them,” the city said in a Monday release.

Three Rivers said that even once temperatures begin to rise, the frost under the roads will remain for some time.

“The frost under the roadways encapsulates your service line in a block of ice, which is causing the water service pipes to freeze. Depending on the temperatures and precipitation, deep frost could remain under the pavement through the end of March or mid-April,” the city said. “We recommend that you continue to run your water until further notice.”

There are some things you can look for that may be indicators of a frozen pipe:

  • Decreased water pressure
  • Cloudy or rusty water
  • Water will be colder than 35 degrees
  • History of frozen pipes



City of Kalamazoo website

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