Jackson prepared to battle frozen pipes two years after crisis


JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — Falling temperatures always brings up concerns over what the weather can do to your pipes.

Especially in Jackson, where two winters ago, almost 150 homes had no water because pipes there froze for months.

6 News talked to the city of Jackson to see what they’re doing to avoid another crisis.

It was the winter of the infamous polar vortex.

In 2014, below-zero temperatures slammed mid-Michigan, and hit Jackson hard.

“We had a once in a generation, a once every 50 years cold snap that lasted for weeks,” said City Public Information Officer Will Forgrave.

That caused 144 homes in the city to go without running water for days as the bitter cold weather froze water pipes.

The city says it’s unlikely that we’ll see another frozen pipe crisis anytime soon.

But if we do, they’re ready to take on Mother Nature.

Forgrave says the city now has more equipment to deal with frozen pipes.

City workers have learned what techniques work best, like the unthawing pipes using steam.

And infrastructure improvements have also helped.

“When we dug the pipes up, and unfroze them, we’d dig them deeper,” Forgrave said.

To avoid frozen pipes, run a small amount of water for long periods of time.

If you’re going out of town, have someone come by to turn on faucets and flush toilets.

Another thing to know, the city isn’t always responsible for every home with frozen pipes.

“Basically if it’s inside the sidewalk, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility, and if it’s outside the sidewalk it’s the city,” Forgrave said.

If you suspect you have frozen pipes, contact your local government.

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