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Water and Sewer Emergencies

If you have a problem with your sewer line or if you notice unusual water running down the street which could be a water main break, call Public Works at (651) 714-3720 or Engineering at (651) 714-3593 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. During other times, emergencies can be reported by calling the Washington County Sheriff's office at (651) 439-9381. The Sheriff's Department will contact one of the city's public works employees to resolve the problem.

Liability for Repairs

Sec. 23-29. - Liability for repairs.

(a)    After the initial connection has been made to the water curb box stop, the applicant, owner or the occupant or user of such premises shall be liable for all repairs required to the water line from the residence to, but not including the corporation cock, including any necessary repairs to the curb box stop and any necessary street repairs. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant, owner, occupant or user to maintain the curb box stop at such height as will insure that it remains at the finished grade of the land.

(b)   After the initial connection has been made to the sewer lead, the applicant, owner, occupant or user of such premises shall be liable for all repairs required to the sanitary sewer line from the residence to, but not including the sanitary sewer wye, including any necessary street repairs.

(Code 1985, § 1111.06)

Frozen Water Pipes

The prolonged extremely cold temperatures experienced during the winter of 2013-14 resulted in some metro area homeowners dealing with frozen water pipes to their homes.

Water service pipes connect homes to the water main under the street. They are buried anywhere from 6.5 to 7.5 feet deep. In some areas, frost penetrated the ground to about the same depth as these water service pipes.

Most water service pipes serving homes are not going to freeze; however, predicting if or when a line will freeze up is difficult. If you have questions, contact Woodbury Public Works at (651) 714-3720.

Preventing frozen water pipes

  • Make sure the cold air return for your furnace is pointed away from the water service.  The water service enters most homes in the lowest level through the floor.  (the same spot the water meter is located)
  • It is colder near the floor and along the block wall of a basement than at the ceiling, so make sure warm air is allowed to circulate around your meter.
  • Leave utility room doors open and clear space around the water meter/incoming water service.
  • If your kitchen or bathroom sink is located against an outside wall, insulate the wall.  Open the cabinet door below the sink and remove contents to allow warm air to reach the pipes.
  • Wrap foam insulation around pipes most susceptible to freezing (those near the outside walls of the home).
  • Seal air leaks in your home.
  • Put a fresh battery in the thermostat if the thermostat is not hard wired in to the home
  • If you are away, have someone check your home.
  • If you are away for an extended period of time, ask the City turn your water off at the street. There is no charge for this service.

 For more information, watch the Minnesota Section of the American Water Works Association’s video.

Testing for frozen water pipes

If you are concerned about water pipes freezing in your home, monitor the temperature or pressure of the water coming out of your faucet. If you notice that the temperature is dropping, or the water pressure is dropping, you may have an impending freeze up and the frost may be getting close to your service line.

Test this by allowing your water to run until it is cold and then check the temperature with a thermometer. The temperature should be around 45 degrees. If it drops to 40 degrees or below, call Woodbury Public Works at (651) 714-3720 and staff will advise you on how to proceed.