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Deeper Ground Frost Causing More Reports of Freezing Water Pipes

Water Faucet
Sean Gallup, Getty Images

SARTELL — Sartell officials are joining the growing number of communities warning residents about freezing water service lines.

Sartell officials say homes in cul de sacs appear to be having the most trouble.

St. Cloud Water Treatment Services Manager Dave Mendel says don’t count on warmer air temperatures providing any immediate relief. He says the problem is the depth of the ground frost.

Mendel says they’ve had problems with freezing service lines in years past, but not to this extent. He says they sent letters to homes who have had issues before, but others are cropping up this year.

Service lines used to be placed seven feet underground.  Mendel says at some point they changed it to eight feet and are now burying pipes nine feet deep.  Many of the older neighborhoods with shallow water mains are experiencing the most problems, but Mendel says it can happen to any home.

Mendel says it’s better to run a trickle of water before the pipes freeze or you will have to pay for someone to thaw them out and the n run your water anyway to prevent them from re-freezing. He says the problems with freezing pipes could extend into April depending on how quickly spring comes.

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