Contact Information

Contact Information

Utilities Division


Prevent frozen water pipes, meters and sewers


Your water lines may be at risk of freezing during prolonged periods of bitter cold. This is especially true if you have had issues with frozen water lines in the past.

How to prepare your pipes for severe cold

Take action when weather reports warn about extended periods of severe cold.

  • Allow warm air to circulate in the area where the water comes in to the house.
  • Leave utility room doors open and clear space around the water line to help prevent cold pockets of air near the pipes.
  • Remove contents of vanity cupboards that conceal pipes, and leave the doors open.
  • If possible, leave snow cover over the area where your water line runs laterally from the curb stop to the house.
  • Put a fresh battery in your home's thermostat, if it is not hard-wired to the home.
  • Run the cold water faucet closest to your water service's entry point for a few minutes and then take the temperature of the water. If the water is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is recommended that you let your cold water run from this faucet at a pencil thickness.
  • You should run a pencil-thick stream of water nonstop when there is no one home, overnight when temperatures typically dip lower, or no water will be used for a period of time. Notify the City's Utilities Division (952-563-8777) if you choose this method to protect your pipes.

Dealing with frozen pipes or water meters

Find where water service enters the home. Basement rim joists or exterior walls not have insulation or adequate exposure to heat.

Water meters may be located in former well pits or utility rooms that are isolated from the warmth of finished living spaces. This allows them to freeze.

  • Direct warm air toward the unheated area, water line, pipe or water meter using:
    • Heat tape
    • A space heater (don’t leave it unattended!)
    • A hair dryer
    • A fan blowing warm air to warm the pipe.
  • If the water meter is in a closet or isolated space, keep the door open to allow warmer air into the room.
  • Fill cracks or open spaces with insulation.
  • Watch for unintended consequences of sewer or septic backups if you are running water continuously.

If you need the help of a contractor to thaw a frozen water line:

  • Be aware of unintended consequences of contractors thawing water lines, particularly if they are using an electrical welder. These consequences could include fire, explosion, damage to appliances and electronics, and damage to other nearby properties in the case of stray electrical current.
  • Determine whether the contractor is using a commercial device manufactured specifically to thaw frozen water lines.
  • Determine whether the contractor is insured before they begin work.

Sanitary sewer freeze-up considerations

Make sure the roof vent is not covered with snow or otherwise blocked. Snow buildup over the vent will cause the sewer drain to slow down. This prevents warmer air in the sewer system from venting up the house line and keeping the line above freezing.

Frozen water service FAQ