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Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -  This week’s cold weather has pushed the frost depth in the Rochester area to nearly 4 feet.

It was 3 feet earlier this week when Rochester Public Utilities issued an advisory about checking the temperature of tap water to avoid possible frozen service lines.

 

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The frost depth was around 3 feet last year when RPU issued a similar advisory. That was Feb. 10th. RPU issued similar advisories in 2014, 2015, and 2019. The frost depth in 2014 reached 6 feet at one point. Service lines are typically buried six feet or more below the ground from the street to the house.

After a brief warmup the next few days, another round of cold weather is expected in the Rochester area Wednesday, which is Groundhog Day.

Here is a message from RPU to its water customers who face the threat of frozen service lines:

RPU advises these water customers to take the temperature of their water and then continue monitoring it until the frost is out of the ground. This is especially important for customers that have experienced frozen water problems in the past. RPU suggests running an inside cold water faucet and use a thermometer to check the stream (10-20 seconds) to see what the water temperature is. If the temperature drops below 35 degrees (F), RPU says “ you should immediately start running a continuous pencil-width stream of water from a faucet.” The cost to run a constant pencil-width stream of water is approximately $60- $100 per month including sewer fees. RPU says thawing a frozen water service can cost $800- $1,500. RPU asks those who decide to run their water as a precaution to call 507-280-1500. All businesses and residence types could be affected. The age of your home does not matter.

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