Contrary to its recent conservation efforts, the City of Rossland has advised residents to let their taps run after pipes started freezing up during the recent cold snap.
With temperatures reaching a low of -21.2 C over the past week, some residents have reported the water pipes inside their homes have frozen. The City of Rossland issued a release on Friday, advising Rosslanders “to please leave a tap running at approximately one to two cups per minute until the weather warms.”
Darrin Albo, manager of public works for the City of Rossland, says the frozen pipes are the result of frost seeping down lower and lower into the ground.
“We’ve been experiencing this cold snap for a fairly long time now, and the frost levels are getting pushed down beyond normal levels,” he told the News on Monday. “We were only experiencing [this] basically on private property up till the last couple of days because their pipes may have only been two or three feet deep, and so they were experiencing freezing. But just as of the last couple of days, we’ve had a couple on the city side.”
Albo says that frost levels are now estimated at 3.5 feet deep.
Anyone experiencing problems, or anyone who knows they have shallow pipes, is asked to keep their taps running. Though temperatures are now less extreme, Albo warns it will take time for the accumulated frost to dissipate, so residents with frozen pipes should continue running water for now.
Asked how this will impact water bills, Albo said, “If you run anywhere between about a cup and a half per minute, it will affect your bill about approximately $10 per month, including your sewer.”
“It’s not horrible, but here we are in a time where we’re trying to promote conservation and yet, we’re telling people to leave their pipes running,” Albo added. “It’s tough, and that’s why I held off as long as I could … on putting these notices out, until we knew that … the frost was fairly deep and that’s why we’re trying to get the message out now.”