Some residents with frozen pipes are sharing water with neighbors

By Heather Sawaski, Local 5 News

Published 02/21 2014 04:30PM

Updated 02/21 2014 07:20PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - Despite a frozen pipe, Patricia Stilp still has running water. It's all thanks to a spigot, hose and her neighbor.

"I've never heard of it before, but I'm glad they figured it out," Stilp said.

Her home's main water pipe froze last week. It's one of about 50 the Green Bay Water Utility has been unable to thaw out. The temporary fix is hooking her up to the house next door.

"We knock and ask if it is (okay) and most everybody has been very cooperative and let us do it and understand the situation," commented Paul Pavlik, water distribution manager.

Pavlik said most pipes are made of metal and can easily be thawed with a welder. However some are plastic, making the warming process complicated.

"It takes quite a bit more time," he explained. "We've had our hands full just trying to keep up with the ones we can do electrically. So when we get something that's non-continuous, that's when we go to the hose temporarily until we have enough man power until we can get out and try some other methods."

Pavlik said that likely won't be until April.

While homeowners call it a bit of an inconvenience, they said it's a lot better than the alternative, which is no water at all.

"I've been drinking mainly bottled water because, it just tastes a little different," added Stilp. "I'm sure it's safe but I use bottled water now. I even make my ice cubes with bottled water. But at least I have water."

According to the Green Bay Water Utility, frost right now is reaching about six feet below ground. More than 900 customers are currently under "run water" orders and those too will likely continue until April.

Customers will not be charged for any extra water usage.

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