ST. CLOUD - Thanks to a brutally cold winter, drinking water service lines have been freezing in the St. Cloud Metro area.

St. Cloud, Waite Park, St. Joseph, Sauk Rapids, Sartell and St. Augusta have all experienced water lines freezing this year. St. Cloud Public Works is reminding residents that water lines are the homeowners responsibility and are expensive to thaw.

St. Cloud Assistant Public Utilities Director Lisa Vollbrecht says the best way to prevent a water line from freezing is to keep the water running.

The cost of running the water will be cheaper than the cost of potentially thawing a service line. Vollbrecht adds that many of the lines are freezing on sidewalks and streets, which are still a homeowners responsibility.

Any drops in water pressure, changes in temperature and discoloration can indicate a pipe is freezing. If you have a frozen water line, you'll need to hire a private plumbing company to do the job for you.

If you have questions you can contact your local public utility. Local city websites also have lists of plumbers available to thaw frozen pipes.