Kewaunee residents urged to keep faucets running

File photo. (WLUK)
File photo. (WLUK)

KEWAUNEE - This consistently bitter cold weather has led to problems in the city of Kewaunee.

The city is asking residents for help with keeping water pipelines from freezing.

Effective Wednesday morning, the city of Kewaunee IS asking all residents and businesses run their water in an effort to keep the entire area's water pipes from freezing up.

It's a result of the prolonged bitter cold we've seen in the area this winter.

“The frost depth on a normal year is down two to three feet. This year, we got frost in Kewaunee that's pushing down 5, 5 1/2 feet. Another problem is that our mains are only buried at 5 to 5 1/2 feet,” said Charlie Petersen, Kewaunee Public Works director.

In a public service announcement, the city states they want people to leave on one faucet at all times at just a small trickle. How small? The stream should be only about the width of the lead inside of a pencil, and should be run off the cold water, not hot. It's so the mains have a continuous flow of water moving through them.

Compared to the flow of water through a water main, that little trickle of water, again, no wider than the lead inside of a pencil, might not seem like much. But it could prevent big time headaches for some homeowners. The only problem is some of those homeowners were still not aware that the notice had been issued.

“I heard something about Rhinelander; they told them to turn the water on. But I didn't see anything for Kewaunee. A lot of our neighbors and stuff around town been having problems with their pipes. We haven't really,” said Cassie Jelinek, Kewaunee.

It was too late for one of Jelinek's neighbors.

Petersen received a report their water pipe coming off the Miller St. main had frozen up during our interview.

After few problems all winter, Kewaunee has had about a dozen freezes just since Saturday.

And if residents and businesses don't turn their faucets on, they worry that number will continue to rise.

As we know, running your water isn't free. But Kewaunee says adjustments will be made on future bills to ensure that residents and businesses don't incur these additional costs.