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This article was published 4/3/2014 (1005 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Wildwood Park man says if he had followed common sense and ignored advice from city hall, he'd have water flowing at his home today.
Instead, Jesse Cringan said he has joined a long list of neighbours on his street without water because of frozen water lines.
"For three days, I asked the city, 'Should I leave my taps running?' and each time the city said 'no,' " Cringan said. "(Monday) morning, I had no water."
Cringan said he learned late last week several neighbours on his bay have been without water for over a week.
Cringan said all the homes in the development were built at about the same time -- 1950 -- and are served by the same water line.
"It made sense to me that if their lines are frozen that maybe I'd be next," Cringan said, adding he wanted authorization from the city to run his taps so he could avoid a higher water bill.
Cringan said he kept his taps closed only to wake up Monday to find his home didn't have any water either.
"I guess, looking back, I should have just decided I'd run the water and pay the extra on my water bill. It would be better to incur a higher water bill for a few months rather than go without water at all for four to six weeks."
The waiting list for properties with frozen lines continues to increase -- at the end of day Tuesday the number was 616, up from 537 the day before, and 300 properties a week ago.
City officials said they were advising about 1,000 property owners who've had frozen water lines in the past to keep a single tap open running a straw's diameter of water 24 hours a day.
Officials said the additional cost on the water bills would be waived -- but only for those properties that were formally notified by letter from the city.
Property owners have been told they will likely have to wait three weeks before their lines can be thawed and city officials said the situation could persist until May or June.
Unusually cold weather has pushed the frost line to 2.1 metres this year from its typical 1.5-metre depth.
Cringan said he's frustrated the city isn't advising all residents to keep their taps running around the clock to keep lines from freezing.
"Properties are freezing that never froze before, so we should be worrying about everyone's property," Cringan said.
"You would think the city's priority would be to prevent more properties from being affected but they seemed to be more concerned about losing potential income."
Mayor Sam Katz announced Monday the city will offer free showers to frozen-pipe-affected residents at 13 city recreational facilities, including all city pools.