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Madison: Extreme cold taking a toll on water meters, service laterals and water mains

Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2014 --- 2:24 p.m.

The Madison Water Utility has responded to the highest number of frozen water meter calls for any month in at least the last decade.

According to a release, 38 customers had their water meters freeze and crack or burst in January of this year. For the entire year of 2013, the number was 46.

The Utility has also responded to dozens of calls about frozen laterals, which is the service line leading to a home from the main in the street. The Utility also repaired 92 water main breaks in January.

The Utility is offering these tips for homeowners:

Water meters and pipes:
-Make sure your basement is properly insulated, and check for areas where cold air may be rushing in -Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, unheated garages, and attics.
-Leave some heat on in unused areas of your home.
-Never try to thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame.

Service laterals:

If your home’s lateral service line has frozen in the past, it might be a good idea to run a pencil-thin stream of water during the times of day when you typically use very little water. If you’re planning to go out of town for a few days, you may want to call the utility and have your water service shut off at the curb. There is a $50 fee for restoring service.

If you are experiencing a problem with your water service, call the Water Utility dispatcher at (608) 266-4661


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