[Editor's note: See also: ""]
Update, 12:09 p.m. Tuesday:
The water-main flushing that starts Tuesday night in Darien won't affect the health of water users, although discolored water with an "earthy odor and taste" may be the first thing that comes out of some faucets in the morning, according to a spokesman for Aquarion Water Co.
If that happens, just run the tap for a bit, said Peter Fazekas, public relations manager for the water utility.
The discolored water comes from iron and magnesium deposits that settle on the sides of the water main pipes, he said. The minerals are naturally in the water, but collect on the pipes.
When water flow increases, as it did this past July when water usage went up during a spell of hot weather, the deposits get stirred up and start appearing in faucets.
The current cleaning is done simply by opening up fire hydrants so water again flows faster through the pipes, and nothing is added to the water in order to clean the pipes, Fazekas said. The faster flow should flush out much of the deposits, he said.
Customers may want to store some tap water for drinking at night before the pipe flushing occurs in their neighborhood, the water company suggests.
Fazekes said the home page of Aquarion Water Company's website did have a notice that Darien's water was going to be cleaned. It is in a blue and white box beneath an invitation to "like" the site on Facebook, near the top righthand corner of the Web page, he said (see image of the top part of that Web page, attached to this article).
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Clicking on "customer care" on the Home page of the Aquarion website brings up a list of links including one to "Darien Water Main Cleaning," he said. Both links were on the Web page last week, he said.
The utility also placed an advertisement in one local newspaper, the Darien Times, to inform residents about the water-main cleaning, Fazekas said.
Asked whether the utility did enough to inform town residents, he replied, "We notified Darien customers through a number of channels, including print, Web and reverse-911 calls."
Aquarion has provided a list of street names above the water mains being cleaned this week (see list below). Fazekas said that Aquarion will notify local news organizations with lists of streets affected in each week of the operation, which lasts until mid-October.
Original article Monday:
If you see discolored water coming out of your tap over the next several weeks, that's because the local water utility is cleaning the main lines around town.
You may want to store some tap water for drinking before the water-main cleaning hits your street (see the list below for times when mains near certain streets will be cleaned; each list is in alphabetical order by street name).
Aquarion Water Co. apparently didn't send out a news release about the water-main cleaning, which starts in Darien on Tuesday, Sept. 4, but, according to the Darien Times, it did send out a "reverse customer service call" to town residents on Friday.
(Did it send out a letter as well? Do you think Aquarion's notification was adequate? There's a poll at the end of this article about that. You can also tell us what you think in the comments section.)
This is the third occasion this year when water service in Darien has been disrupted. on Nearwater Lane. In July, water became discolored in parts of Darien, Stamford and New Canaan stirring up minerals that normally settle in water mains. At the time, a company spokesman and Darien Health Director David Knauf each said there was no health concern.
The Aquarion website doesn't show any information about the water-main cleaning in Darien on its Home page or in the Newsroom section, but a search for "Darien" on the website shows a Web page with information on it. Here's what it says [the lists of streets are in alphabetical order]:
Aquarion Water Co. will be cleaning water mains in Darien from Tuesday, September 4 through Friday, October 12, so we can ensure that you continue to receive the highest quality water. To minimize disruption, all cleaning will take place during the evening from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
This project should last approximately six weeks and, during that time, you might notice some discoloration in your water. This discoloration results from the temporary disturbance of the water flow, which stirs up naturally occurring minerals that settle in water mains. You may want to store tap water in the refrigerator ahead of time for drinking and cooking. And, if your water is discolored, delay washing clothes until it is clear.
We appreciate your understanding and patience. Below, we have provided information on where our crew will be each day. This information also is available at 1-800-203-7000. For other questions, call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-732-9678.
First Week’s Schedule (9:00 pm to 5:00 am)
Tuesday, Sept. 4 - Barringer Rd., Camp Ave., Center St., Corbin Dr., Country Club Rd., Day St., Fairview Ave., Greenwood Ave., Grove St., Hoyt St., Ledge Rd., Leeds Ln., Old Kings Highway South, Post Rd., Spring Grove St.
Wednesday, Sept. 5 - Bailey Ave., Camp Ave., Highland Ave., Hoyt St., Kerry Ln., Lakeside Ave., Leeuwarden Rd., Leroy Ave., Mansfield Ave., Old Oak Rd., Old Stone Rd., Ridgeview Ave., Robin Hood Ln., Rocation Rd., Shadbush Ln., Stephanie Ln., Stephanie Ln. South, Tanglewood Trail, West Ave.
Thursday, Sept. 6 - Briar Brae Rd., Hale Ln., Heather Ln., Hoyt St., Leroy Ave., Lynn Court, Miller Rd., Old Parish Rd., Parsons Walk, Partridge Ln., Rock Spring Ln., Scout Trail, Stony Brook Rd., Stony Brook Rd. South, Tanglewood Trail, West Ave.
Friday, Sept. 7 - Allen O’Neill Dr., Cherry St., Chester Rd., Denhurst Pl., Echo Dr., Edgewood Ave., Elm St., Fairfield Ave., Fitch Ave., Georgian Ln., Herman Ave., Holmes Ave., Hoyt St., Intervale Rd., Middlesex Rd., Norton Ave., Oakshade Ave., Phillips Ln., Rose Ave., Sunnyside Ave., West Ave.
Correction: If you look closely at the Home page of the Aquarion Water Company website, you can, in fact, find a link to an announcement about the Darien water-main cleaning (see attached image of the Web page).