Update on City’s Water System Flushing

(PLATTSBURGH, NY - Monday, September 12th, 2022) - City of Plattsburgh Environmental Services staff are still battling intermittent discolored water. A complete flush of the distribution system started Wednesday September 7th in the west end of the city and will continue throughout the system.

Unfortunately flushing the system can create temporary changes to water color, and some customers might still experience some discolored water during this process. If you experience discolored water, wait an hour and then run your water to see if it has cleared up.

NYS Department of Health and Clinton County Health Department required testing still shows that the water is fit for consumption – but if your water is obviously discolored, or if you're not comfortable using it, please wait until it clears up before using it.

Environmental Services staff are actively returning calls and will continue to do so. Given the current call volume it may take a couple of days before residents hear back from staff if they have requested a call back. 

Please direct calls and questions to  518-563-1188 and leave a voicemail or please email us at cityinfo@cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov with your phone number, address and date and time you've experienced this issue and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

We're aware this is an inconvenience and are working diligently to clear the system. Thank you for your patience during this challenging time.

A Message from Environmental Services Manager, Jon Ruff

Hi folks. It’s Jon Ruff. I’m the Environmental Manager for the City. I want to personally provide an update on the water situation. I realize the discolored water has been vannoying and causing anxiety amongst our residents. I’m sorry about that and I share your feelings as well. Our water management staff have been battling this situation for about a month now and are very frustrated that it hasn’t cleared up sooner. They are working around the clock trying to provide you with water that’s safe and appealing.

Here’s what we know:

The discolored water started appearing about a month ago. We immediately increased the number of bacteria samples collected to make sure the water was adequately disinfected and safe to use. All tests were good. All tests are still good. Since that time we’ve brought in treatment experts, chemical specialists, scuba divers, and the County and State health departments. We feel we narrowed down the main cause of the problem to some fine sediment in the storage tanks that would get drawn out during high usage.

That being said, here’s where we’re at. The treated water and water coming out of the storage tank is free of contaminants. Now we need to flush the distribution system to get rid of the fine sediment that may be in the pipes. This will take at least a couple weeks.

Unfortunately, flushing can rile the system up for a while causing more discolored water. There’s really no way to avoid this. However, the more flushing that occurs, the better the situation should get.

All tests show the water is fit for consumption – HOWEVER, if your water is clearly brown or doesn’t seem right, it’s probably best to avoid consuming it until it clears up. In the meantime, we are having trouble keeping up with the call volume so, if you have questions, or really want to speak to someone, we ask that you email us at: info@cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov.

We thank you for your patience.

Sincerely, Jon Ruff