Waterlines will receive routine maintenance


By Theresa Lay, Utilities Director


Please note that during the month of May the SNI Waterline will be doing some routine maintenance to keep our waterlines working to their best capabilities. We shall be flushing lines (see attached zone diagram) for your vicinity on these dates:


Water main flushing moves water systematically through sections of a drinking water distribution system, creating a scouring action to clean the line. The increased flow rate scours the water pipe’s inner walls and helps to remove build-up of naturally occurring debris and sediment. The water is discharged through select fire hydrants onto local roads or other surface areas.

There may be a slight drop in pressure or noticeable discoloration of the water from the minerals and sediments that are being flushed out. In the event customers draw discolored water into the home, flush a cold tap for a few minutes, up to 15 minutes. During the flushing operation in your neighborhood, you will be able to see crews flushing the water mains through fire hydrants and ends of water main pipes commonly called blow-offs. To prepare, you may want to grab a pitcher of water to drink during this time but water is fine to use after.

This department’s waterline was primarily funded through the Indian Health Service and we must adhere to strict guidelines. Therefore, if you’ve had water service for one year or longer, it is up to you, as the homeowner, to maintain your hook-up. All renters should advise their landlords of their responsibilities if they are not being met.

Should any community members notice any standing water on your lawn, under your trailer, (especially if it hasn’t rained in a while); please notify us immediately so we may identify the problem. Please note if you hear any water running in a home that is unoccupied, there may be a leak. THE WATERLINE DEPARTMENT MUST BE INFORMED WHEN OCCUPANTS ARE LEAVING THEIR HOME FOR ANY LONG PERIOD OF TIME SO WE MAY SHUT OFF THE WATER AND AVOID COSTLY REPAIRS TO THE OWNER. We appreciate any help our residents can give us!

Also, please note that if you have to dig near any utilities you must contact DIGSAFELY, which is an underground utility locating service (800-962-7962). This could prevent you from accidentally ripping out dangerous electrical lines, natural gas lines, and waterlines that could interrupt residential services. And, along this line, please note where you are tiling your gardens-or having others doing it for you, septic lines and leach beds are not a good place to plant anything other than grass or flowers. Vegetables may not be safe to eat as home cleaning chemicals could be leaching into these lines-roots from deep planting or hardy growing plants could pierce the piping, and clog the leaching process.

Also, please take note of the process that occurs when applicants apply for services from our department for wastewater facilities…we are funded through the Indian Health Service, so we do have to follow protocol and their guidelines. This process is not the fastest, but working hand in hand with the agency, we will attempt to get all systems installed on a timely basis. At this time, there is a six month waiting period (at least) for new systems to be checked, site spec’d and designed and ready for construction. We do emphasize to our residents to be aware of when they decide to build or buy a home and to put their application in as early as possible. Sometimes people decide to build, or buy a home and think that this infrastructure can just be placed in at their timeline, but planning ahead is very important, unless you are able to wrap it into your own costs, we are not to be used as a resource as priority level residents could come in at any time. These guidelines are available to residents, stop by our office and pick up an application, the first two pages outline what is required. We appreciate an informed resident!

Please call if you have any questions or anything to report (716)532-9221. Again, Nya:wëh for your cooperation!

Have a safe, healthy spring/summer season!
SNI Utilities – Catt. Territory