By Tara Mathews
Lester Prairie City Council approved a 10,000-gallon allowance for residents who have a need to prevent frozen water pipes, during an emergency meeting Thursday.
About 12 additional residents have reported frozen pipes to city hall since the regular city council meeting Feb. 11, bringing the total to more than 20.
During the Feb. 11 meeting, council approved relief for residents who live in the Second Avenue South construction area, because the project contributed to the problem, according to city engineer Jake Saulsbury.
However, because residents across the city have been experiencing frozen pipes, Mayor Andy Heimerl called an emergency meeting Thursday to address the issue.
About 10 residents attended the meeting.
Jeff Dale, technical advisor of Minnesota Rural Water Association, recommends running a pencil-size stream from one tap to prevent complete freezing if water temperature is below 40 degrees, according to Heimerl.
“We ask that residents check the temperature of their water daily,” Heimerl said.
Residents are asked to call city hall to report frozen pipes so the city staff can keep a record.
City staff will figure the three-month average for residents who need to run water to prevent their pipes from freezing, and will remove 10,000 gallons above the average usage from water bills.
Anything more than 10,000 gallons will be the homeowners’ responsibility.
“I just want to emphasize that residents should only run water if the temperature of their water drops below 40 degrees, and only run the recommended pencil-size stream,” Heimerl stated.