The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities Water Division has announced that spring flushing of water mains will begin Saturday night and continue throughout the BPU water system through Thursday, May 9, weather-permitting.
The spring flushing is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Saturday in the village of Falconer, and take place all Saturday night into Sunday until the entire village of Falconer is flushed. Crews then will move into the northeast section of Jamestown - near JCC and Lutheran Social Services - at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Flushing will proceed throughout the rest of the BPU water system nightly from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., Sundays through Thursdays, until the process is finished. Once the village of Falconer is flushed, no flushing will take place on Friday and Saturday nights throughout the rest of the process, which normally takes two weeks.
Specific flushing locations will be posted daily on the BPU website at www.jamestownbpu.com where customers can view actual maps showing the location of flushing that night.
In addition, locations will be posted on Facebook and Twitter, in The Post-Journal, on the Time Warner Weather Channel crawl and on radio stations SE93, WJTN, WHUG, WKSN, 106.9-FM and WRFA-FM. Flushing each night is weather permitting.
Customers who are unsure about their flushing location schedules may call BPU Communications at 661-1680. Customers who reach voicemail when they call the number are requested to leave their flushing addresses and telephone numbers so that the BPU may call them back as soon as possible with their flushing dates.
Water customers are advised to pay attention to flushing announcements for their neighborhoods. If the flushing is taking place in the vicinity of your home, even if it is not on your specific street, you may experience discolored water. Be careful before drawing water into your hot water systems (heating, clothes washer or dishwasher) by running the water in your bathtub for a few moments to see if the water is clear.
If home plumbing isn't used between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. on the night a home is scheduled for flushing, a resident may not experience any discolored water.
"BPU water mains are flushed twice a year," said Becky Robbins, BPU Communications coordinator. "BPU employees open hydrants systematically, one at a time, allowing water to run full force, flushing out sediments and minerals that have settled in pipes."
The flushing process not only cleans the pipes, but also allows the utility to achieve greater flows through its mains. Flushing also provides BPU employees with the opportunity to inspect valves and hydrants to keep them in good working condition for fire protection.
The alternative to flushing is adding rust-inhibiting chemicals to the water, according to Robbins, which the utility has made a conscious effort not to do.
"Adding chemicals to our water supply could affect the taste and feel of our water," continued Robbins. "Using such chemicals also would increase water distribution costs."
The BPU Customer Service Office, located at 92 Steele St., is open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. For further information, contact Robbins at 661-1680.