Iowa City trying to prevent frozen water pipes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City trying to prevent frozen water pipes

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by Brady Smith

IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The recent cold snap brought with it a nasty side-effect as it rolled through Iowa. A water main on the corner of Court Street and Elmridge Avenue broke Sunday morning, forcing city crews into the bitter winds to fix it. It knocked out water service to 8 homes, according to the city's public works department.

With the holidays fast approaching, Public Information and Education Coordinator Carol Sweeting is not only worried about the pipes under the streets, but the ones in homes.

"We see a lot of people go away for the holidays and they think, 'we're going to turn the heat down, and save a little money.' It's not worth it."

Sweeting says lowering the heat upstairs makes for an even colder basement, where a home's water meter is usually located. "When we get cold like this, we might see 20 or 30 frozen meters." She recommends keeping your thermostat above 60 degrees.

"Make sure you have a neighbor checking that house every 24 hours to make sure you have heat on."

She also recommends keeping your meter and any pipes near basement walls insulated, using towels or newspapers.

For pipes upstairs, open cabinet doors to encourage air circulation to wherever there's plumbing. Keeping your faucet at a trickle also prevents freezing. "It doesn't need to run very much, just enough to keep the water circulating through," said Sweeting.

Sweeting says if a pipe freezes, it should be thawed slowly. For a frozen meter, you should call public works for help.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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