Kalamazoo advises homes and businesses to run water because of cold temperatures

Kalamazoo advises homes and businesses to run water because of cold temperatures. (WWMT/File - MGN)

The City of Kalamazoo Public Services Department issued a frozen water advisory on Monday, Jan. 21.

Kalamazoo officials advised people to constantly run a pencil-sized stream of water in a sink or tub for 24 hours until April 1 to prevent water lines from freezing between the street and home or business.

Kalamazoo resident Brian Austin said he would take no chances.

"I already turned the water last night to ensure the water wouldn't freeze," Austin said.

Austin took the city's recommendation to heart.

"The main point is keep some water moving, so you don't have cold water sitting in the service line for periods of time," said City of Kalamazoo Public Services Director James Baker.

Baker said that no particular area of the city is at a higher risk and based on frost-depth forecasts that more pipes could burst if residents don't take precautions.

"I think we're seeing reaction in the ground, certainly from our frost stats, we're seeing the ground is starting to move," Baker said.

A similar advisory was issued two winters ago and in 2014, when a record number of pipes and water meters froze.

In 2017, a water main broke in front of Austin's home causing major damage.

"They couldn't unthaw it, so they just pulled the whole line from the street," Austin said.

Pipes or water meters could become frozen during the extreme cold temperatures and there are indicators that freezing could be occurring:

  • Experience a light decrease in water pressure.
  • Rusty or cloudy water.
  • Extremely cold water from the tap, usually the water is colder than 35 degrees.
  • If there is a history of frozen water.

If pipes become frozen it could take up to three weeks to fix.

The city is recommending all users run their water at a pencil size stream 24 hours a day until the worst of winter is over.

For more information contact the Public Services Dispatch water emergency line (269) 337-8148.

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