PUC worked through the cold for customers

NEW ULM — The extreme subzero temperatures due to the Polar Vortex induced minor interruptions and damages to water and gas lines in New Ulm this past week.

However, New Ulm Public Utilities responded to citywide customers and braved the cold to make repairs calls.

According to a press release from New Ulm Public Utilities, two utilities — water and gas — experienced some interruptions during the Polar Vortex.

The water utilities team discovered a leak in a six-inch water main on 16th N. Street. The leak was excavated and repaired by teams that same day when temperatures were approximately 20 degrees below zero.

Two residential water service lines also developed leaks, occurring on customer owned services. The customers were notified that repairs were needed, and that service would be restored once repairs were completed.

The natural gas utilities team received more than 45 service calls during the frigid temperatures. Troubleshooting and investigation revealed approximately 30 natural gas meters had stopped working.

The press release stated that natural gas meters had reacted to the extreme low temperatures and required replacement to ensure further service.

Utility teams worked outside, and sometimes overnight, to ensure warmth was restored to customers and buildings.

In addition to gas meter replacements, several calls were made to the utility to investigate possible gas odors and carbon monoxide accumulation. The press release said each call was investigated to ensure customers were safe.

The release also stated no customer services were disconnected during the Polar Vortex to ensure the safety of customers.

New Ulm Public Utilities reported no weather related outages occurred on electric, wastewater or steam systems.