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Preventing Frozen Water Service Lines
faucet dripping
Residents May Prevent Frozen Water Service Lines by Keeping the Water Moving

Extreme cold weather and associated deep frosts may freeze exterior water service lines that provide water to the house. For most homes, normal usage of water will prevent frozen water service lines. However, if your water service lines have frozen in the past, it may be helpful to take some precautions to prevent frozen pipes.

While the City generally encourages water conservation, continuous running of water may prevent the costs ($800 or more) and inconvenience of frozen pipes. In the few cases where precautions should be taken to prevent frozen service lines, the following information may be helpful.
  • Let the cold water run continuously from one faucet throughout the day and night. Do not use the hot water for the continuous water stream.
  • The water stream should be approximately the thickness of half to full diameter of a pencil.
  • Be sure that the sink used for the running water (for example, the washtub in your laundry room) drains properly before letting the water run for a prolonged period.

If Your Exterior Water Service Lines Freeze
Property owners are responsible for frozen water service lines that lead to their property. However, if you experience a frozen water service line, you should contact the City Utility Billing Division right away to discuss options. A staff member will contact you and evaluate the situation. Residents will be charged for the water used, unless they have been contacted directly by city staff and received prior approval for preventive water usage rates.

Frost depths vary considerably at different locations and for different lengths of time depending on the weather. City staff monitor frozen water service line reports. 

Who to Contact
If your pipes are frozen or if you have questions, please contact the Utility Billing Division at (763) 569-3390, Monday through Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm. After hours, contact 911 (Hennepin County Dispatch) and City Public Works staff will be notified.