- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Sioux Falls officials say evidence of this year’s harsh winter weather can be found underground.

Homeowners are complaining about frozen pipes, and it could get worse.

City water distribution supervisor Brad Maddox said officials in his office have fielded more calls from homeowners about frozen pipes than he can remember in his 34 years with the city.

“This winter is not typical,” Maddox told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/NjylYN ).

Bill Wagner said his welding company in Brandon, on the outskirts of Sioux Falls, typically gets a few calls for service through the winter. He said he’s hearing from two or three people a day who are without water because of frozen pipes.

Some parts of town are more susceptible to problems, depending on the type of soil. Those pipes that run through rocky soil aren’t as well-insulated as those buried in black dirt.

Officials suggest that homeowners run cold water tap at times throughout the day and keep faucets flowing for longer periods of time. Maddox said the problem is more common in households that don’t use much water, such as houses that sit empty or have just a single occupant. That’s when it’s important to run extra water to prevent freezing pipes, he said.

“We’re not asking anybody to waste water. They need to be a little more liberal with their water usage,” Maddox said.

Officials are warning residents to be on guard when the weather turns warmer. That’s because when temperatures climb to the mid-40s and into the 50s, the frost goes deeper.

“The frost runs from the sun,” said Greg Anderson, the city’s water superintendent.


Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com

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