Ottumwa Water and Hydro Director Mike Heffernan said his crews are seeing frost down to about 3 feet. That’s not enough to threaten the city’s water mains, which are buried at an average of 4 or 5 feet.
“It really hasn’t caused us too much trouble yet, but it is causing some homeowners problems with their service lines,” he said.
The service lines branch off the water mains, supplying water to the individual residences or businesses. That means they have to cross through the frozen soil, raising their risk of freezing.
That’s not to say Heffernan isn’t keeping a close eye as the frost moves deeper.
“We’re definitely watching that,” he said. “It’s obviously a concern.”