BPU Water Main Flushing Hours Switch from Night to Day


Article Contributed by
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities

The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Water Division announces that water main flushing will take place during daytime hours instead of nighttime, beginning in spring 2017 for all areas except Falconer.

The change to daytime flushing hours, which occurs in other Western New York communities, is purposed for greater efficiency as well as for improved employee safety.

Not only will the hours change to daytime, says BPU General Manager David L. Leathers, but also the number of flushing days will be reduced from ten days to eight.

Similar to past years, the Village of Falconer pre-flush will begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Apr. 28, all day in the area of Aldren, Ralph, Valmeere and Mapleshade, which may cause an isolated disturbance in that section of the Village. If Falconer customers in that area have not noticed a disturbance during pre-flushing in the past, customers probably will not notice pre-flushing.

Also, unchanged, the rest of Falconer will be flushed as usual from 9 p.m. Saturday, April 29, into Sunday, April 30, until the entire Village is flushed, according to Water Division Deputy General Manager Mike Saar. Discolored water may be seen in Falconer and on the north side of Jamestown on Sunday as a result of flushing.

Following Falconer, flushing will continue in the rest of the water system from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 1, through Friday, May 5, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 8, through Wednesday, May 10.

The exception will be downtown Jamestown flushing that will take place from 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 3, for approximately two to four hours, in order that restaurants and businesses will be free of flushing as early as possible in the business day.

“We plan to flush more hydrants each day in fewer overall days, with the daytime advantage of improved visibility,” states Leathers. “Employees will be able to see the clarity of the water that is flushed from the hydrant without the help of artificial lighting. In daylight, employees also will be in less danger of hazardous walking and other unsafe situations.”

Flushing trucks this spring, in addition, will be equipped with truck-mounted diffusers, that point water downward into streets along curbs and away from terraces and yards. As a result, the truck attachments will minimize damage sometimes caused to private yards and gardens by the sudden rush of water during flushing.

Enclosed in the March and April newsletters/bills is a two-page informational sheet describing which location will be flushed on which day.

Specific flushing locations will be described daily on our website: www.jamestownbpu.com, Facebook and Twitter. Actual daily maps showing which hydrants are to be flushed each day also are posted on our website: www.jamestownbpu.com. The hydrants to be flushed on that date are colored in bright turquoise blue on the maps.

Recordings of daily flushing locations are available by calling 661-1660 ext. 6.

Water customers should note when crews are flushing in their neighborhoods. Flushing occurring on nearby streets also could cause discolored water on your street.

Customers with questions about their flushing dates may call the Flushing Hotline at 661-1688. If callers receive voicemail, they should leave their street name, the names of the streets at the end of their block and their phone numbers. BPU employees will return calls with the flushing locations and details.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Flushing Location?

When the BPU flushes in your area, it is likely that discolored water will run from your water faucets or in toilets. Although the water is safe to use, it is displeasing in appearance and also may discolor laundry washed in the unsettled water.

Customers who know about discolored water in advance can put aside drinking or cooking water and delay washing clothes until the water appears to be clear. Also, if one can avoid opening faucets or flushing toilets during the scheduled flushing time, you may never know that flushing occurred on your street.

Customers who get caught with discolored laundry as a result of flushing may stop at the BPU Customer Service Office, 92 Steele Street, to obtain a commercial rust/iron stain remover free of change. Such products should be used to rewash laundry before it has dried. Customer Service is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday.

Why Do We Flush Water Lines Twice a Year?

The BPU flushes water mains each spring and fall by opening hydrants systematically and allowing water to run full force, flushing out sediment and minerals that accumulate naturally in the pipes. The process cleans the pipes and helps achieve greater water flow through the mains. Flushing also allows operators to perform valve and hydrant inspections for fire protection.

Flushing is a safe and nationally-practiced, cost-effective alternative to adding chemicals to our water to clean water lines.