Like pitchers and catchers, and the reappearance of robins, a sudden, brief slowdown of water flow from your tap is a harbinger of spring in Toms River, South Toms River and Berkeley Township's Holiday City and Silver Ridge Park. It means that SUEZ is flushing water mains and fireplugs in its service area, tentatively starting March 20.

United Water Toms River

You might say, well, they just did this last Fall. Why is it a regularly-scheduled priority? According to Director of Operations Jim Mastrokalos, service, reliability and quality suffers without it.

"Fire hydrants are necessary to flush the underground water system which improves water quality by removing mineral and sediment deposits that have accumulated over time," he added.

Flickr User Joe Pell

They send a powerful flow of H2O in the inverse driection through the mains, to break up any sediment that's built through the normal flow.

So, you might see some cloudy water in your drinking glass, or you might be waiting a while while the water trickles from the spout.

SUEZ recomments shutting the tap, then running the cold water for a few minutes, which lets new water flow through your pipes.

If crews set up outside your home or place of work, SUEZ recommends refraining from using tap water, washing machines and dishwashers until they pack up.

You can get ready in advance by filling and storing tap water, for drinking or cooking, in clean containers.

And by all means, if you see the trucks and workers on the street, drive a little more slowy and leave them room while you're passing by.

You can get more information at the SUEZ web page, Facebook page, Twitter feed, and at 877-565-1456.