Like most of our residents, we've been enjoying the warm weather this month, but fall and winter are right around the corner.

That means that the leaves will soon be falling and before we know it, we'll see snow in the forecast, as well.

When you're preparing your homes and lawns for the changing weather, we're also preparing our staff and our equipment.

The city employs about 20 staff members throughout all public-service divisions.

Nine employees work in our streets, lands and buildings division. Two work in our urban forestry division, and both the water division and waste division have four employees.

We also employ one information technology coordinator as well. Each division requires specific technical skills and knowledge; however, we all work together to serve the Canal Winchester community. In fact, a number of our employees grew up or now live in Canal Winchester.

Our staff members have routine work to take care of each day, but we also take pride in tackling service calls and service requests, so we wanted to remind you that if you have a service request or want to report an issue, there is a tool on the city's website called the Request Tracker.

You can access it on the homepage, canalwinchesterohio.gov, by clicking the button that is labeled "Report a Problem or Concern." There are several different reporting categories, and issues will be assigned to the right team. The tool also gives us the opportunity to follow up with you and helps track issues.

This month, our division of water will be flushing hydrants throughout the community.

They do this twice a year -- once in the spring and again in the fall. The routine flushing is important because it clears out sediment and also makes sure that the hydrant valves will work properly in the event of a fire emergency.

The flushing will be done only during our work hours and should be completed about the second week of October. If a hydrant is being flushed on your street, you might see some discoloration when you run your water, but it won't affect the water's taste or quality.

It's best to avoid running tap water, washing machines or dishwashers until the flushing is complete, however, and then to let the water run for a few minutes when you turn the faucets back on to let the water pass through until it's clear.

On Oct. 5, Dick Miller, our urban forester with the Walnut Woods Metro Park, will be host to the city's 12th annual Walnut Creek cleanup and tire sweep.

It's amazing how much debris ends up in the creek basin. Keeping the creek clear of tires and other trash not only is important for the health of the local wildlife, but helps keep Canal Winchester's landscape attractive. If you'd like to volunteer, call 614-834-5110.

On Oct. 7, our crews will begin picking up leaves that are placed curbside. Two of our large dump trucks and the street sweeper will be used for leaf pickup, which will run until mid-December, when we'll start actively preparing many of our trucks for winter duties.

We take pride in taking excellent care of the city's infrastructure in every season and thank residents for the opportunity to serve Canal Winchester.

The city of Canal Winchester's Department of Public Service performs administrative, technical, operational and maintenance activities in support of an estimated $200 million in public infrastructure.

Matt Peoples is the public-services director for the city of Canal Winchester.