Public works employees are preparing for the heat of summer - and the anticipated jump in water demand - by testing wells and flushing out portions of Carson City's water system.
Work started Monday and is expected to conclude June 1, the day when the city's seasonal water restrictions begin.
"It's the same thing we do every year before summer," said Ken Arnold, public works operations manager. "It's to improve overall quality."
During the testing and flushing, sediment that has collected on the bottom of the water mains may be stirred up. This causes the water to change color. The sediment in the water is a result of minerals that have settled to the bottom of the water mains during the rest of the year.
The discolored water may stain light-colored clothing. This, however, can be avoided by placing a cup or glass inside the washing machine to see what the water flowing into the laundry basket looks like.
However, it's otherwise "safe to use," Arnold said.
Workers are expected to flush out the water mains in the Riverview, Stanton Park, Woodside Terrace, River Knolls, Parc De Maison and Lewis Home areas. Residents in these areas could see low pressure along with the discolored water while the work occurs and for a few hours afterward.
"These are areas where the mineral content is especially high," he said.
The city will provide 24-hour notice to residents living where this work will be done. Either someone will come by residents' homes to inform them about the work or hang a notice on their front door.
These workers, recognizable by their bright orange T-shirts, should have no need to enter the residence. If someone claims to be from the city needing to come inside, call the water division at 887-2355 to verify what the person is saying.
And as crews flush troubled areas, allow 4 to 6 hours after flushing for the water to clear up. If the water continues to be off-color, also call the water division at the same telephone number.
• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.
Carson City water
If your water does not clear up six hours after flushing, call 887-2355
Residents consume 24 million to 27 million gallons during a typical summer day.
Use is 5 million to 6 million gallons on a winter day
June 1 through Sept. 30