ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Despite the warmer weather, more than 50 Beloit families are still without water tonight. Two weeks after their pipes started freezing, help appears to be on the way as some new equipment has arrived to assist crews in thawing pipes to restore water for these folks.
The new thawing system arrived today. It’s called a Pulse Jet thawing system and workers will be able to hook it up to frozen pipes and send in a surge of water that will thaw out the lines.
In one case, the city has given a resident a water lifeline from a nearby fire hydrant. Homeowner Anne Getzky says this set-up is a godsend and has been for two weeks but it’s been about 3 weeks since her pipes froze. Water department employees say most of the houses impacted only had their water supply pipes buried 4 or 5 feet into the ground and the frost depth has reached upwards of 6 feet deep.
"The frost has not had a chance to retreat if you will, or thaw. The frost is being driven deeper and deeper into the ground. Typically, water mains are set at about 6 feet ,but now the frost depths are approaching five and a half to six feet,” said Director of Water Resources Harry Mathos.
Workers say freezing pipes are common this winter because we haven't had any warm spurts that have allowed the ground to thaw. They are hoping to restore everyone's water in Beloit within the next few weeks but they can't say just yet how long it will take since it is all dependent on mother nature.
Workers say each house present a different challenge when it comes to thawing out its pipes. They expect to work day and night to get water back up and running.
Also in Rockton, people are being asked to leave at least one faucet running until further notice, which is supposed to help keep your pipes from freezing.