Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

Archive for April, 2012

10th Annual Arbor Day Celebration to be held on April 27

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU), with partners Maier Forest and Tree and Rochester Park and Recreation, will host the 10th Annual Arbor Day Celebration on Friday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to1 p.m. at Mayo Park behind the Mayo Civic Center.


The fun and free community event will feature a variety of activities and displays that will include: A tree giveaway of over 3,000 trees, a free lunch of hot dogs, corn on the cob, chips, cookies, and soda will be provided (while supplies last), and live music from Paul Mayasich and his band, Real American Made Music. Tree experts will also be on hand to answer questions on tree planting and care, along with many other vendor displays.


Children will be able to enjoy Smokey Bear, balloonists, a scavenger hunt, temporary tattoos, bean bag toss, and much more!


At noon, an awards ceremony will honor the Rochester elementary school student that won this year’s Arbor Day poster contest. This year’s winner is Sarah Brewer, a fourth grader at Folwell Elementary. Sarah will receive a $100 U.S. savings bond, her winning poster will be featured in advertising, and a tree will be planted in her honor at Folwell Elementary School.


Co-Sponsors of this year’s event include: Hy-Vee, People’s Energy Cooperative, Sargent’s Gardens, and Seneca Foods.

Participants include: Cascade Meadow Wetlands & Environmental Science Center, Minnesota Energy Resources, Olmsted Soil & Water Conservation District, RNeighbors, Rochester Public Works, University of Wisconsin – Steven’s Point, Zumbro Valley Audubon, and Zumbro Valley Woodland Council.


In the event of rain, the celebration will be moved to Graham Arena 2 at Rochester Graham Park.

Hydrant Flushing Routes Starting April 26th

Thursday, April 26th, 2012


Rochester Public Utilities will be flushing fire hydrants in the areas mapped below (within the red area) between 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., for approximately two weeks, beginning April 26th . Fire hydrants are flushed to remove mineral deposits and sediment from the water mains and to ensure proper operation for fire protection.

During hydrant flushing operations, it is not unusual for customers to experience rusty water, and or pressure changes. Rusty water does not pose a health issue, but may affect the aesthetic quality of the water. Customers are encouraged to check their water for discoloration prior to using hot water or doing laundry, as rusty water may stain clothing. If rusty water is present, customers should flush their household plumbing by opening cold water taps and flushing until clear. Outdoor watering or using exterior hose outlets can also flush customer piping while still using water efficiently.

If you do experience any clothing staining, rust remover is available free of charge and can be delivered to you by calling RPU at 507-280-1500.

RPU Receives National Recognition for Reliable Electric Operations

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) is one of 176 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3®) recognition from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service.  Brent McKinney, manager, electric transmission and distribution at City Utilities of Springfield, Mo., and chair of APPA’s RP3 Review Panel, presented the designees on April 16 during the association’s annual Engineering & Operations Technical Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio.


“RP3 utilities are serving their customers at the very highest level,” said McKinney, “These utilities have demonstrated that they are providing excellent service now as well as keeping their eyes forward on improvements for the future.”


The RP3 designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.  Criteria within each category are based on sound business practices and represent a utility-wide commitment to safe and reliable delivery of electricity.


“Receiving the RP3 designation means a lot to us,” said Larry Koshire, General Manager of RPU. “It’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for the work we are doing here locally in Rochester.”


This is the seventh year that RP3 recognition has been offered.  APPA is the national organization representing more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community- and state- owned electric utilities.  It is located in Washington, D.C.


About Rochester Public Utilities

As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 47,000 customers. Water customers number more than 36,000. RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive. Current initiatives include investigating smart grid capabilities; fuel cell research, wind power and photovoltaic offerings.