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Residents facing frozen pipes may have to turn on cold water

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Cloquet City Engineer Jim Prusak said this winter’s extreme cold means some residents may have to leave their taps running until the spring thaw.

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Prusak told the Cloquet City Council Tuesday that there are almost 100 homes in Cloquet with a history of water pipes freezing between the home and the street or even under the street. With the continuing cold, those homes are at risk and he is planning to contact those homeowners to tell them to turn on the tap and keep it running.

“Usually about a pencil-sized stream [of cold water] is enough to keep the line open,” Prusak said.

To help with costs, the city will pay the difference between those residents’ average water bill and what comes after they leave the water running 24/7. That help does not apply to people who have frozen pipes as a result of poor home construction or substandard heating, however.

As winter goes on, the problem is getting worse.

“We had 26 people freeze up as of today,” he said. “Yesterday that number was 16.”

Questions? Call Prusak at 218-879-6758.

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