Wisconsin News

Municipalities tell residents to run water at pencil stream

BLAIR, Wis. (WKBT) - Because of the persistent cold, residents in a few area cities and municipalities are being asked to run their water non-stop for at least the next month.

Residents of the following munincipalities are told to run a pencil-sized stream day and night to keep the pipes clear (updated Thursday, February 13):

  • Village of Chaseburg
  • Village of Gays Mills
  • Village of Warrens
  • Village of La Farge
  • Mindoro
  • City of Elroy (requests homeowners and businesses run water)
  • City of Arcadia
  • City of Viroqua
  • Village of Viola
  • Village of Ettrick
  • City of Westby
  • Village of Melvina
  • Village of Stoddard
  • Village of Coon Valley
  • Village of Cashton
  • City of Black River Falls
  • City of Sparta
  • City of Blair
  • Village of Camp Douglas
  • Village of Trempealeau
  • City of Greenwood
  • Village of West Salem
  • City of New Lisbon

The City of Onalaska has recommended its residents to keep some water running and keep their home temperature at 65 degrees or more to avoid freezing pipes.

The Village of Melrose and the City of Galesville are also recommending its residents keep some water running.

The water utility in Black River Falls said the frost has gone down five to six feet. The water lines are dug six-to-seven feet.

They are seeing a big increase in water lines freezing, mostly under streets where there is no insulation. If the pipes do freeze it can cost the city a lot of money.

"If there's a damaged lateral, the only way to fix that is to dig it up, could be like $1,500, with the cost of time, labor time, it could be more than that with the frost," said Casey Engebretson of the Black River Falls Water Utility.

Residents are asked to keep the water running until further notice. As for the cost, the city says they will not charge residents for the increased water use.


The City of Blair Water and Sewer Department told residents Monday they must run their water in a pencil stream at one faucet in their home until further notice.

"With the warmer temperatures the frost will be drive down further," Gary Christenson, with the water and sewer department, said in a statement.

Christenson said any costs due to failing to comply with the water notice will be at the homeowner's expense and water bills will be adjusted accordingly.

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