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Frozen Water Lines Policy

Frozen Water Lines Policy

 

  1. Each person served by the water system shall take reasonable precautions to prevent his or her water service from freezing.
  2. If the service pipe freezes, the property owner may call the Water Department to thaw the pipe.
    • During regular business hours: If it is determined that the blockage is in the portion of the water piping that is the responsibility of the property owner, the property owner will be billed a flat fee of$75.00. If it is discovered that the blockage is in the portion of the pipe that is the responsibility of the Town, this charge will be waived.
    • Outside of regular business hours: If a property owner requests that the Water Dept. thaw a frozen water pipe after normal business hours, the property owner will be billed for this service at the Water Dept. billing rates, including any appropriate overtime labor rates. If it is discovered that the blockage is in the portion of the pipe that is the responsibility of the Town, this charge shall be waived.
  3. Thawing will be done on a first call-first served basis. However, the order of thawing may be changed when, in the judgment of the superintendent, there is reason to do so.
  4.  While the Water Dept. will attempt to accommodate requests as described in this section, there are circumstances under which this service may not be provided, including but not limited to situations where:
    1. There is no functioning shut off valve within the building.
    2. Modifications to the existing piping system are required before the Water Dept.’s thawing device can be used.
    3. The existing piping is in such a condition or of such material that, in the judgment of the Superintendent, connecting and using the thawing equipment could result in damage to that piping.
    4. Conditions in the area to be used for the thawing are such that, in the judgment of the Superintendent, they pose a safety or health hazard to the employee.
  5. The Water Dept. will make reasonable efforts to accommodate all requests for thawing in a timely fashion. However, the timing of the work is subject to other thawing work previously requested and water system emergencies. The Town of West Rutland shall not be held responsible for damages suffered due to delays in thawing the water pipe. Property owners may, at their own expense, contract with other individuals to thaw their frozen water services.
  6.  If the Superintendent determines that the Water Dept. cannot respond to a property owner’s request for thawing in a reasonable amount of time, or determines that available Water Dept. equipment is not suitable for a specific thawing operation, the Superintendent may authorize the property owner to contract with another party to thaw the pipe. Thawing using electric current is discourage. The Town of West Rutland will not be held responsible for any damages resulting from the pipe thawing attempts of the selected contractor or others. The property owner shall give notice to the Water Dept. to allow the Water Dept. the opportunity to have a Town representative on site when a contractor thaws a water pipe.
    • If the pipe is thawed in such a manner as the location of the blockage can be determined, the representative and contractor shall agree upon the location. Costs of thawing shall be allocated as follows
      • If it is determined that the blockage is in the portion of the water piping that is the responsibility of the Town, the Town will reimburse the property owner for reasonable costs of thawing.
      • If it is determined that the blockage is in the portion of the water piping that is the responsibility of the property owner, the property owner will be responsible for the thawing costs.
    • If the location of the blockage cannot be determined, the Town will reimburse the property owner for 50% of reasonable thawing costs.
    • If the Water Dept. is not notified prior to the thawing operation, the property owner will be responsible for the thawing costs.
  7. Waiver of charges, cost and reimbursements by the Town as described in this section shall be limited to one per winter and shall not apply to those persons who have been advised to take precautions and run their water to prevent freezing. (see Protection from Freezing)

Protection from Freezing

  1. When, in the opinion of the Superintendent, extended cold weather increases the risk of water main or service line freezing, he or she may authorize or request certain water users to let water run in order to minimize such risk. The Water Dept. shall keep a list of such users. When so authorized, the water and sewer bill for that usage period will be adjusted to reflect the amount of water estimated to have been used for the purpose of freeze-up prevention.
  2.  Water users who have experienced service line freezing may apply to the Superintendent for authorization to let the water run as noted above.
  3.  No adjustment of billing will be made for water left running to prevent freezing of any pipes other than the water service line. (e.g. interior plumbing).