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The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Water Division announces that fall water main flushing will take place during daytime hours, generally between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weather-permitting.
Pre-flushing began in Falconer at 1 p.m. on Friday, October 6, in the areas of Aldren, Ralph, Valmeere and Mapleshade. The rest of Falconer was flushed overnight as usual from 9 p.m. Saturday, October 7, into Sunday, October 8, until the entire Village was flushed. Discolored water may be seen in Falconer and on the north side of Jamestown on that Sunday as a result of flushing.
When the Village of Falconer was completed, flushing in the rest of the water system takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, October 9, through Friday, October 13; and from Monday, October 16, through Wednesday, October 18.
The exception will be downtown Jamestown: flushing will take place from 5:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, October 11, in an effort to accommodate downtown and Fairmount Avenue restaurants and businesses.
The greatest likelihood that discolored water will appear is while the BPU is flushing in customers’ immediate areas on their scheduled flushing days. However, customers should be aware that discolored water may appear at any time during BPU water main flushing because (1) flushing may occur in an area over a multi-day period; and (2) flushing disrupts the entire water system and it is difficult to predict exactly when and where discolored water will occur.
Attached to the customer newsletter enclosed in the September bills is a two-page informational sheet showing color-coded maps of which areas will be flushed on which days. These maps, indicating which hydrants are to be flushed each day also are posted on our website: www.jamestownbpu.com.
Specific flushing location descriptions will be posted daily on Facebook/Twitter. Recordings of daily flushing locations are available by calling 661-1660, extension 6.
The BPU informed many of our residential customers in spring by telephone as to when their neighborhoods would be flushed. To receive such a call for fall flushing, customers should be sure their phone numbers are current on their BPU account by notifying BPU Customer Service at 661-1660, e-mailing email@example.com or writing it on the top of your payment stub when you mail in your utility payment. Residential customers are expected to receive a call two days prior to their scheduled flushing days while commercial customers should have received their calls three weeks prior to their flushing days.
Customers with questions about their flushing dates may call the Flushing Hotline at 661-1688 or Communications at 661-1680. BPU Communications Coordinator Becky Robbins states, “If you receive voicemail when calling, please leave the name of your street, the names of the streets at the end of your block and your phone number. BPU employees will return calls with flushing location dates.”
Why Is It Important to Know When Your Neighborhood Is Flushed?
The primary precautions that should be taken during water main flushing are to check for discolored water before doing laundry and to avoid pulling discolored water into your hot water tank. The BPU also suggests that customers put aside water for cooking or drinking a day or so ahead of their scheduled flushing day.
Please note that overall, it is safe to use and flush toilets during daytime flushing; the only time one should try to avoid flushing a toilet is when the BPU is flushing directly on a customer’s street as pressure surges possibly can occur.
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. Customer Service is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday. Town and Village offices in Ellicott, Falconer, Celoron, Lakewood and Busti also keep the stain remover on hand for residents’ use.
Why Flush Water Lines Twice a Year?
The BPU flushes twice a year to remove sediment that may gather in the water lines. The employees systematically work through the water system, opening hydrants at full force. In this way, the sediment and minerals accumulated in the water lines flush out onto the ground.
As BPU employees flush the hydrants, they also can observe and fix any problems with hydrants and valves.
Water main flushing is a normal procedure performed by hundreds of water systems throughout New York State.
The BPU customer newsletter in August bills included a two-page attachment of Frequently Asked Questions about the flushing process. Extra copies of the flushing FAQs are available in the BPU Customer Service Office, on the www.jamestownbpu.com home page, on www.jamestownbpu.com under “Water” or by calling 661-1688 or 661-1680 to request a copy.
Water main flushing schedules always are weather-permitting.
Why Daytime Flushing?
Daytime flushing is an efficient method for the flushing process. It occurs over an 8-day period instead of a 10-night period as in the past, reducing the number of days that our overall system is disrupted. Better visibility during the day allows employees to more effectively monitor the clarity of the water flowing from the hydrant and track the flow of water in an effort to avoid property damage. Flushing trucks are equipped with mounted diffusers that point water downward into streets along curbs and away from terraces and yards. These truck attachments minimize damage sometimes caused to private yards and terraces. Flushing in daytime is safer for BPU water employees who can be more aware of traffic and hazards on the streets.