More water emergencies declared in central Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

More water emergencies declared in central Wisconsin


More central Wisconsin communities are asking people to keep their water running, or risk having frozen pipes. Some are even asking homeowners to do it 24/7.

The sound of running water has become a familiar sound in Millie and Mel Lilla's home in Mosinee.

"We keep it going. Even during the night, I get up, I run a little water," said Millie.

The couple has lived here since the 70's. But, it's first time they've had this problem.

"Considering the temperatures, and the snow, it's been an unusual winter," said Mel.

The winter weather has caused deep frost lines. That means without running water, pipes are in danger of freezing.

"People think the sun is shining, it's nice out today, I don't have to run that water. Well, the problem is 6 ft down, it's not here," said Mosinee Mayor Al Erickson.

That's why he's asking all residents to run their water all day and all night at a pencil width's stream until further notice.

"It's important, people need to realize how serious this is," said Erickson.

In Weston, it's a similar situation.

"We are trying to get a better handle on what the frost depth is," said Keith Donner, Weston Public Works director.

Donner says about 60 homeowners have been told to run their water non stop.

"Pencil width's drip will do," said Donner.

The rest, he says, are advised to turn it on a few minutes every day.

"You can be alert for changing color, or lower pressure, those things seem to be a precursor for service line possibly freezing," said Donner.

But, keeping the water flowing can be expensive. Mayor Erickson says the city of Mosinee has a plan for that.

"We'll factor in what they'd normally pay for water and credit them whatever is needed," said Erickson.

For the Lilla's, it's a price worth paying.

"If it prevents them from freezing, well worth it," said Mel.

This winter, however, they could do without.

"It's for the birds. Actually, they don't like it either," said Mel with a laugh.

Other communities have also declared water emergencies. That includes: Schofield, Adam's Friendship, Birnamwood, and Merrill.

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