Rhinelander water users are being asked to run their water 24/7 to prevent frozen pipes.
Tim Kingman, Rhinelander Director of Public Works, says the city has been thawing out dozens of households every day.
“At a certain point in time, we have to make some hard decisions here to let this water be run on a system wide basis. The reason we do so is it’s the best economy we can get.”
Thawing out frozen pipes for hundreds of people is very expensive. Running water constantly is also expensive, but still cheaper than the alternative.
The city's 3400 customers will not be charged for the extra water. Instead they’ll be billed at an average seasonal rate.
Kingman says the running water should prevent pipes and water mains from freezing up.
“When you turn on your water, you should run it at a small stream of water, we usually recommend that it be a pencil-lead diameter of water. That typically will do the job and keep you frost free.”
Commercial users like restaurants may not have to run their water as much…if they’re already using a large volume of water during the day.
It’s not clear how long the running water notice will remain in place…or how long the cold weather will last.