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Frozen Water Lines Across the Valley and Beyond are the Worst in - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Frozen Water Lines Across the Valley and Beyond are the Worst in Decades

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It's a problem that can cost you a couple hundred bucks or a couple thousand! In Detroit Lakes, Minnesota the number of people with frozen water lines continues to grow. It's something that plumbers in lakes country say they've never experienced on this scale. Valley News teams Eric Crest traveled to Detroit Lakes to explain how you can prevent frozen lines.

Plumbers in the Detroit Lakes area are working too hard for the dead of winter.

"A lot of overtime right now. Lots and lots of overtime," explains Nick Green the Owner of Green's Plumbing and Heating Inc.

Green's Plumbing and Heating has been helping folks since the 1920's. But the last couple weeks are some for the record books.

"This year were seeing more than we've ever seen or heard of at any point in our history," says Green.

It's not just plumbers scratching their heads though. The city's public utilities office is struggling with the frozen lines too.

"We're trying to find some sort of pattern here to give people some answers when they call in. We even made a map earlier in the week. I wanted to find the pocket of areas and we'll target those areas. But there are no pocket areas, it's city wide," says Vernell Roberts the General Manager of Detroit Lakes Public Utilities.

The frost is nearly eight feet deep in some spots of Becker and Otter Tail counties, and it's starting to hit water lines. The result, freezing pipes. 61 people so far in Detroit Lakes alone have had lines freeze. And the problem goes deeper than that.

"Fergus Falls, Hitterdahl, Mahnomen area, of course Frazee," says Green who has sent crews to all of these areas.

The only real solution turns out to be an easy one. Keep a faucet in your home running when you go to work, on vacation, or to bed.

"It wastes a lot of water but that's all you can do to keep it open," explains Green.

Find a house sitter if need be because this problem can happen just like that.

"My neighbor had a toilet that was leaking and that little bit of water running to the toilet kept his service line open. He got irritated about the toilet so he fixed it. Overnight he froze up," says Roberts explaining how essential it can be to keep those lines open.

The professionals likely won't get to your frozen lines for 3 to 5 days if you have a problem. So get proactive and save yourself some money in the long run by staying on top of it. Because we're not out of the winter season just yet.

"We're fighting mother nature here. I would love to go outside and feel 45 degrees. I would... But I know that's not on the radar for the next 7 days and possibly 10," says Roberts.

If you have a digital thermometer it's not a bad idea to make sure your water isn't below 40 degrees. If it is, now is the time to call a professional plumber before you have a real problem on your hands.

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