ice photo: Ice IMG_6525copy.jpg As residents of Knox, Indiana enjoy the warm weather, they can't help but reflect on simple joys like turning the water on to take a shower and actually being able to take a shower. For some, this simple experience wasn't available in their homes from the end of January through late March. Others had to leave water running continuously in an effort to enjoy these simple pleasures.

What was the problem?
The problem is that there was a perfect combination of all the right circumstances. Wind chills that reached -42 were certainly a factor for some homes. Others didn't realize they needed to keep the water running, and then there were those who experienced frozen water lines simply because the frost line went below the depth where the pipes were buried. This situation rarely happens, but since the weather is only getting more severe by the year, we can probably expect more of this in the future.

What is the solution?
Apparently the city of Knox proposes that they keep informing residents of when they should shut their water off and when they should leave it on because over the winter and at the moment, there are no plans in place to permanently fix the situation. It's been mentioned that the area most seriously impacted by the freeze was never meant to be permanent housing. Apparently it doesn't matter that this area IS permanent housing for many.

Residents who deal with this issue are not impressed. Yes, they get a nominal discount when this happens because it isn't their fault that the weather is severe, but while they were going to a relative's house to take a shower and eating off of paper plates to avoid unwashed dishes piling up, construction of the new jail continued. In their faces, residents could easily see that priorities here were not in order. Said residents are encouraged to express themselves at the town meeting held tonight at Knox City Hall. Nothing changes unless voices are heard. One question that is in everyone's mind is whether the situation would have been handled differently if the residents involved were in a higher income bracket.

Energy Waste
Let's talk for a minute about the energy wasted and the numbers involved. Because the water in this are has to be left on, the pumps for the city are continuously going. Any plumber or electrician can tell you that's not good for the pumps and anyone who has ever paid an electric bill will tell you that it isn't good on the pocketbook. Even the residents pay more as they eat with paper plates and try to heat their homes while hauling the kids in and out the door to get a hot shower elsewhere, burning up the gas money as they go.

Who is going to pay for this? Over time it would almost certainly be more cost-effective for Knox to repair the plumbing issue now than to pay for wasted energy later. Either way, Knox residents might want to be on the lookout for future hikes in tax bills. Of course Knox could always be smart about it, take things a step further and apply for a grant to upgrade the water system for a more efficient one, killing two birds (or future debts as it were) with one stone.

Don't forget to let your voice be heard at the meeting tonight at Knox City Hall at 7:00 PM


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