Oswego works to fix frozen water lines
By Linda Girardi For Sun-Times Media February 19, 2014 11:23AM
Updated: February 19, 2014 9:12PM
Oswego, like other villages and municipalities in the region, has seen its share of frozen water lines.
On Tuesday, Public Works Director Jennifer Hughes said the department has responded to 20 calls for frozen water pipes from homes and businesses.
Hughes said the extremely cold winter has driven heavy frost to unprecedented depths, causing water lines to freeze.
“It is like wrapping an ice cube around the water main,” Hughes said. “If the water isn’t flowing in a rapid fashion, it will freeze.”
Hughes said they have been checking the depths, five and six feet down.
“The lines are well within code and sufficient depth. There is just no insulation down there,” Hughes said.
Hughes said under village code, residents are responsible for the service line from the house, but they are finding that is not where some of the problems have occurred.
Hughes said they have been working with a plumber to restore water service at impacted locations until the village can acquire a $2,500 micro jetter that threads a fine line through the water pipe and pushes high-pressured hot water to melt the ice.
The machines are in high demand from communities experiencing similar problems.
“Everybody is going through this process, this is a widespread problem. It’s like the salt, everybody wants it,” Hughes said.
If the cold and snow is not enough, Oswego, as are other communities, are bracing for potential flooding due to the combination of thaw and rain in Thursday’s forecast.