There is no mandate to keep faucets running in the city of Manawa.
Unlike some of the neighboring municipalities, Manawa has not asked every household and business to keep their faucets dripping.
Only a few have been asked to keep the water running, City Clerk Cheryl Hass told the Manawa Common Council at its Feb. 17 meeting.
“The DNR doesn’t recommend you run the whole city because you could upset the whole sewer plant,” Hass said.
“You can’t shut it off once you get it running,” she added.
Hass noted it has been about 20 years since they last had water pipes freezing in Manawa. “We don’t usually have problems,” she said.
Recently the city workers have needed to unthaw pipes in several homes, businesses and churches.
According to Hass, the city will unthaw pipes one time per site at no cost. Most of those sites are then told to keep a faucet dripping, with the extra water usage not reflected on their water bills.
She said each call costs the city at least $100 an hour for equipment, wages and benefits.
“It has been a long winter,” Hass said. “We are waiting for spring.”
The members of the council commended the city crew for their hard work and the extra hours they have had recently with the extreme cold and the snow.
Police Chief David Walker said that Frank Jaeger, director of public works, went beyond the call of duty recently when there was a call about a bus in the ditch on County Road B.
Walker said the bus was “teetering precariously at a 45-degree angle.”
He said, “Frank came with a pickup truck and a snow plow.” This made it possible for a tow truck to help the bus.
According to Walker, the bus was transporting workers for a local business; it was not a public school bus.
In other police business, Walker is conducting a part-time officer study to address turn-over issues. Also, the full-time officers are experimenting with an outer bullet proof vest, which has improved comfort.
In his report to the council, Walker said there have been very few snowmobile route problems and no recent complaints.
He noted the Manawa Police Department will continue to stop any sled users who are off the trail.
Walker reported there were a few reports of sleds on the footpath between the Steakhouse and the gas station. He said the problem seems to have been corrected with the establishment of the crossing across State Highway 22 to Robert Street.
He said there have been no complaints in the area near the library, but there are still a few snowmobiles coming off the pond to access the taverns on the north side of the city.
“Sled users are getting used to the new route and it appears to be working well overall with no recent complaints,” Walker stated.