GAWA Water System Switchover
1. Has the water been switched over to the treated water yet?
Yes, we have been receiving treated water from the GAWA plant in alma since Tuesday, October 20.
2. Should I turn off my water softener once the water is switched over?
You may wish to bypass your softener once the switchover occurs for two reasons. First, the new water supply may cause a change in flow direction for some of the water mains within the City's service area. This flow direction change will cause some sediment within the pipes to be “stirred up” similar to that condition you see during City hydrant flow operations. This sediment could be drawn into your softener so by utilizing the bypass, sediment should not be entering the softener tank. Secondly, during this period you will be getting familiar with the new, treated water coming from the GAWA Water Treatment Plant in the City of Alma. Everyone will experience a different sensitivity to the taste, smell and/or feel of the new water. Some of you may like it as you receive it, others may wish to continue to use your softeners. We would recommend that you utilize your local water softening companies to assist you in adjusting your softeners to a point which is acceptable to you.
3. Should I run my water system in order to flush the pipes when the treated water is switched over?
We would suggest that you not attempt to flush your plumbing immediately during the switchover period. Just continue to use the water as you typically do. A discoloration of the water is expected so if you wish to do your laundry, run your cold water and see if there is a discoloration which may help you to decide not to do laundry on that particular day. If you try to flush your own system during these times of water churning and turnover, you may be drawing additional sediment into your own lines. It is best to let the system settle down before you decide to flush your own lines. Due to the high volume of water within the existing pipes, it may be a few days to a week or more to cause the entire water system to turn over from the current well supplied water to the GAWA treated water. Please bear with us.
4. Will the change in water damage my water lines or water heater if I use them when the water is rusty?
Neither water lines nor the water heater should be affected by the change in the water source. Both can be flushed out easily. Lines can be cleaned by running them until the water clears up. Water heaters typically have a drain valve at the bottom of the tank for removing sediment. It is recommended that the water heater be drained annually.
5. How soon will the new water get to my house?
There is no exact way of knowing how fast the water will be used in a given area of the system. Making a prediction is almost impossible because much depends on the volume of water used, where the supply line is in relation to your house, how full the City's water tower is, the time of day, etc. Areas closest to Michigan Avenue and Hazel Street or M46 and Watson Avenue will see the treated water sooner as the two transmission supply lines feed those areas first. It is not the intent of GAWA to operate both transmission mains simultaneously so timing of the treated water in those areas will also depend on which main is feeding our system. Areas farthest from the two transmission mains may not see a difference in their water for a few days.