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Frozen Cedar Rapids Water Lines Call For Emergency Help

Frozen Water Pipes
Michael Regan, Getty Images

The Cedar Rapids Utilities Department has issued an emergency procurement to increase the available resources to restore water to customers.  The Water Division is working diligently to address all incidents of frozen service lines, but the overwhelming demand is causing delays.

When a customer experiences a loss of water, there are several things that could be happening:

  • Water could be off due to a nearby main break
  • Pipes could be frozen inside the home
  • The water meter could be frozen
  • The service line from the curb stop to the home could be frozen
  • The service line from the main to the curb stop could be frozen

Cedar Rapids water customers are currently experiencing a delay when the service line from the main to the curb stop is frozen.  A curb stop is the valve that allows the City to turn water service on and off to a home.  There are currently 12 customers on a list waiting to have their water service restored by defrosting or repairing the service line from the main to the curb stop.  Each situation presents unique, time consuming challenges.  Many incidents require excavation which may include cutting into the street, sidewalk or driveway and can take a half day or full day to repair.  The City of Cedar Rapids is working to gather additional resources to address the growing number of frozen service lines.

How do you prevent a service line from freezing?

  • If water is flowing through the pipe it is less likely to freeze.  Leaving a faucet slowly dripping will keep water flowing through the pipe. 
  • A bucket can be placed under the dripping faucet so the water can be used in the home to water plants or wash dishes.
  • The danger of a frozen service line will not subside as soon as temperatures warm.  The frost line must recede before the danger passes.

For more information about what to do if you do not have water, go to: www.CityofCR.com/water.

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