As City Water routinely purges its system of underground pipes, one side effect of its drought measures may be dirty-looking water coming out the tap. The flushed water customarily flows onto the streets via fire hydrant during the periodic maintenance, which removes accumulated sediment and mineral deposits. As part of its drought observance, the city has hired ValveTek to first filter then recirculate the water back into the pipe system as it works downtown from 7 p.m.-5 a.m. This prevents water loss and ensures water quality, but the changes in pressure cause additional bits of minerals accumulated along the underground system to fall off. It’s not a health hazard, the water department reassures, but the mineral deposits could make city water turn brownish.
If this happens, the city advises running an outdoor hose onto thirsty landscaping — or otherwise capture it for future use — until the water runs clear. This should cleanse the system for the house or business, too. If the water takes longer than five minutes to clear up, let the city know at (805) 564-5413. The maintenance will return to daytime work with ValveTek in other parts of the city through December.