Knox Officials Consider How to Better Educate Residents About Proper Cold Weather House Care

When record-low temperatures struck at the end of January and beginning of this month utility crews responded to more than 20 calls of pipes freezing up within the City of Knox.

Mayor Dennis Estok noted that a majority of those homeowners were not running their faucets like officials recommended when a Freeze Warning was issued prior to the cold snap.

He said despite the information being shared through the city’s website and local media sources, some people stated that they were unaware of the Freeze Warning and didn’t know their bills wouldn’t reflect the additional water usage.

In order to better educate residents about how to protect their homes during the winter, Estok said officials are considering including some specific information with water bills in December of this year.

He said that information will include reminders about properly insulating and sealing crawlspaces to protect pipes and alerts telling people to refrain from clearing snow off of water meter lids because it can actually serve as a natural insulator.

Estok mentioned that people will also be reminded that their water bills will be adjusted if they’re required to lightly run their faucets when a Freeze Warning is place.

Even though there were a handful of households with issues, Estok reported that there was evidence that most people were following the recommendation.

He said on the two coldest days, Wednesday, January 30th and Thursday, January 31st, they were pumping an average of 100,000 gallons more than usual. He noted that he’d rather see that, with the city covering the cost, so utility crews don’t have to be out in extreme weather conditions responding to calls.