Some residents of the Northland have experienced frozen water pipes this winter. Homes in Bovey, Ely, Hibbing, Bemidji, Washburn, parts of Virginia and several other communities are being asked to keep a cold water faucet running for the rest of the winter to prevent incoming waterlines from freezing. The unusually widespread problem has hit, not surprisingly, as the region broke a record for most days below zero in one winter, and municipal water service lines are starting to show signs of trouble from the cold. Frozen waterlines running into homes add to the already growing problem of broken water mains that crack as the cold sinks into the ground. The deepening frost can cause shifting and snap some pipes or simply freeze others solid. The general rule of thumb is to keep a quarter-inch stream flowing out of a main faucet — about the size of a pencil. The moving water usually prevents freeze up entering the home.
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