City urges residents to keep water running

Online Staff Report

The City of Rockford is asking residents who have been running their water to keep pipes from freezing to continue to do so.

According to Public Works Director Timothy Hanson, “The ground is still frozen and will likely stay frozen well into spring.”

Hanson explained that warmer air temperatures will thaw the ground from the surface down. He added: “Our pipes are buried 5 to 6 feet below the ground surface. It will take many warm days for the thaw to reach that depth.”

Because of the colder-than-normal temperatures this year, the frost has exceeded the normal depth for northern Illinois of 3 feet. City crews are experiencing frost as deep as 6 feet.

Water Superintendent Tim Holdeman said: “As long as the ground is frozen at the depth of our pipes, there will be a concern. We need our customers that have been running their water to keep it running.”

Holdeman said the city will issue a press release when it is safe to stop running the water.

According to Holdeman, water service has been restored to all of the 230 Rockford water customers who experienced frozen water pipes.

Holdeman added, “Our crews and local contractors have been working tirelessly on this problem for several weeks, working late hours and weekends to restore water service to our customers.”

The city will credit water customers for running their water on a case-by-case basis. Customers can apply for a credit by calling the city’s Customer Service Call Center at (815) 987-5700.

In the spring, the city will revisit every location where frozen pipes were repaired. At that time, they will restore the sidewalks, driveways, landscaping and roadways that have been damaged in repairing the frozen water pipes. The city will hire contractors to assist in this restoration effort.

If customers have questions about their particular address, they may call the city’s Customer Service Center at (815) 987-5700 for information.

Posted March 13, 2014

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