If household taps start gushing pink, brown, red or even black liquid in the next couple weeks, don't call the plumber.
Carson City public works officials are going to start getting the water supply ready for summer on Monday. The process includes restarting 24 of the city's 27 wells that are generally dormant in the winter months.
During the winter months, Carson City residents and businesses use an average of 5 million gallons of water per day, said Public Works Operations Manager Tom Hoffert.
When temperatures start heating up and lawns start getting thirsty, water usage increases more than five-fold to about 26 million gallons a day.
When the extra wells go online, pressure will be increased in water mains, kicking up sediment that collects on the bottom of pipes during the winter.
City workers will open up fire hydrants to flush out the stirred-up dirt but some sediment often gets through and moves on to the valves of homes and businesses, Hoffert said.
The unused wells also produce dirty liquid when first restarted, Hoffert said, but that water is pumped into detention basins until it's clean.
Public works officials will tag buildings that may get some dirty water, so they won't be surprised. People shouldn't do dishes or laundry, which could be stained by unsavory water while the city is flushing pipes in any given area, Hoffert said.
Any colored water that makes it through to homes will likely last between 20 minutes and six hours. If soiled water is still coming through a resident's pipes a day or so after the area has been flushed, Hoffert said the city should be notified at 887-2355.
"We'll need to track where the pockets (of sediment) are moving," he said.
The well and water main flushing is scheduled to take place from Monday through June 1.
n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1217.