Due to ongoing cold temperatures and deep frost in the ground, many Wisconsin communities are experiencing frozen water laterals. The water lateral is the pipe attached to the public water main, and it brings water directly into the home or business. Typically these can freeze either in cold basements or in the ground itself. In the former case, getting heat to the water pipes in the basement will thaw the frozen section, but open flames should never be used to provide heat. When a water lateral pipe freezes in the ground, thawing can be much more difficult and expensive.
To avoid having a frozen water lateral pipe in the ground, the Water Utility recommends running a very narrow, smaller than pencil-sized stream of water in a well-draining sink, particularly during the nighttime when no other water is used. This slight flow of water will help prevent freezing. While the flow will result in additional water and sewer charges, the cost is about one cent for every two gallons of water. For a typical smaller than pencil-sized stream of water, this would result in additional charges of about $1.00 for every eight hours of flow.
For more information and updates, visit SheboyganWaterUtility.org. If you suspect a frozen water lateral, please dial 459-3800 and press option 2.