Notice - the first sentence of this newsletter, that is, the sentence after this one, contains theoretical ideas, because it does not pay to take anything for granted when speaking of March weather, and besides, this is being written in February, when it seems that none of the theoretical happenings are even remotely possible.
Winter is (theoretically) losing its grip on our fair land, and life is (theoretically) returning to the frosted soil, pushing up sprigs of cheat grass. And below, your pipeline system is likewise coming out of hibernation. The sluggish flows of winter have laid down their usual bed of rust and other crud on the bottoms of the pipes, just waiting to be stirred up and delivered to your laundry load of white undies.
March is the month when we do the stirring up. Our annual pipeline flushing program will commence Monday, March 6th, and continue until we are sure we have adequately irritated each and every one of you. Starting at the high end of the system and working our way toward the low end, we will systematically open fire hydrants and other flushing stations, causing enough velocity in the pipes to sweep out the winter’s accumulation of dreck. This makes a cleaner distribution system, which is good, but also brings temporary inconvenience, which is bad.
When flushing is performed in your neighborhood, you may experience low water pressure, or no water at all, for up to thirty minutes. When the water returns, it may have a milky, muddy, or rusty appearance. Milky water is caused by air. If you set a glass of water aside for a few minutes and it clears up, it was air, which will eventually work its way out of the system. If it stays discolored, it contains stuff from the main pipeline. In that case, you need to flush your own pipes. Just open an outside faucet and let it run until clear. We won’t begin reading meters until after the flushing program is finished, so you will not be charged for using extra water to flush your private lines.
Discolored water caused by flushing is not unsafe to drink. Nothing has been added to the water that was not there all the time. But, some of us naturally balk at tipping back a glass of something that looks like tea but isn’t. If you are of such nature, we recommend you save a jug of drinking water in your refrigerator before March 6th, or stock up on brown drinking glasses.
And try to avoid laundering whites that could be stained by rusty water.
The flushing schedule is expected to run like this: March 6th - 8th, Surface Creek valley; March 9th - 10th and 13th - 14th, Cedar Mesa, and March 15th - 17th, Redlands Mesa. Meter reading will commence for the 2006 season Monday, March 20. This schedule is very much subject to upset, so if it is important for you to know when you are to be affected, call our office during those two weeks for more up-to-date information. And, if your water goes away, it is okay to call and confirm that it is caused by flushing. It may be something else entirely, in which case we need to know.
We need your help in our ongoing effort to obtain correct physical addresses of all water taps, especially those differing from your mailing address. Please check the right hand column of your bill and correct the street address if necessary. Chuck, our willing and able meter guy, has assured us that there are no water meters in the post office. If the only address we have for you is a P.O. box, he refuses to go there to read your meter. And while you are at it, check to see if your phone number is correct. We would like to be able to notify you by phone if your water is going off for any reason. Thanks for your help.