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Water Laterals - Protect Them from Freezing


Cedarburg Light and Water Utility would like to provide some pointers to our customers in hopes of preventing frozen water laterals.

Here are some general guidelines to help prevent a problem with your water lateral at home or at work.

  • Buildings where a good amount of water is used periodically throughout the day for showers, laundry, dishes, and so on, should be okay.
  • Watch for REDUCED WATER PRESSURE, as this can be a warning sign of ice in the lateral.  If this occurs, run cold water faucets to flush out icy water until the pressure returns (generally takes only 5-10 minutes).  If you do not see an improvement, seek advice from the utility on further steps to be taken.
  • If a resident is going to be away from home, and the temperatures are forecasted to be in the single digits or below for an extended period, it is advisable to ask a friend or neighbor to come into the home and run the water for five minutes at a time at least a couple times a day.  This will only add a few cents to the monthly utility bill. 
  • Verify all basement windows and doorways are sealed tight to prevent cold air from freezing the water pipes that are attached to the outside walls.

Since there have been no reports of frozen laterals in Cedarburg at this point, and the frost depth is not generally at a dangerous level, the utility is not in a position to offer reimbursement to customers choosing to run their water periodically or at a steady trickle.  Should these circumstances change, the utility may offer some reimbursement to targeted homes and businesses meeting specific criteria.  Such an offering will be posted on the utility’s website and customers having a water lateral known to be at a higher risk will be contacted by direct mail. 

Please contact the utility’s water superintendent, Tim Martin, with any questions.

Thank you.