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Holley wrestles with frozen water pipes

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 February 2015 at 12:00 am

Village advises residents to keep trickle of water flowing until thaw

Photos by Tom Rivers – Matt Campbell, superintendent of Holley’s water and electric departments, operates an excavator to dig down to a frozen water line on East Albion Street this afternoon.

HOLLEY – It started last Tuesday amidst a punishingly cold February: water lines became clogged with ice.

About 15 Holley residents have since called the Village Office to report no water was coming out of their faucets.

Village water crews have been busy for the past 10 days, sometimes working late into the night to thaw out frozen pipes.

“People can’t be without water,” said Don Wharram, a technician with the electric and water departments.

The village is advising residents to maintain a trickle of water at all times until the deep freeze is over and the spring thaw arrives. Matt Campbell, Water and Electric superintendent, said the steady stream of water can help prevent the pipes from freezing.

Don Wharram, a Holley electric and water technician, attaches a chain to a sign post that would have to be removed to heat up a frozen water line about 4 feet below ground.

That steady trickle may save the water department from digging 4 feet down into the frozen ground. Workers have to dig into a hard ground, and then pump boiling water into the service line to get a water flow back into the line.

The village is responsible for the service lines which are under the street and sidewalk. Some residents have also had their water lines freeze because of unheated basements. If those cases, residents have to hire a plumber or solve the problem themselves.

The Holley crews have responded to about 15 frozen lines so far, working at times in sub 0 temperatures.