CPNMD is conducting our annual hydrant flushing program! This is a vital component to our distribution system maintenance, but it doesn't come without some potential inconveniences for our residents.
Inconveniences? What can I potentially expect?
- You MAY experience discolored water, this can happen on wide spectrum, from a light yellow and in rare more extreme cases a deep brown or red coloration may be present.
- Less likely, but certainly possible are taste and odor differences in the water. These are not indicators of un-safe water. We check Chlorine levels at every hydrant to ensure that we are well within our operational standards, and all state and federal guidelines.
When & Where are you flushing the system?
UPDATE: We are nearing the finish of our flushing program for this year, and expect to be done mid June. A number of factors including emergency repairs, and inclement weather have slowed our progress! We're getting close to the end!
It is difficult to forecast where our crews will be working on any given day, as the amount of time it takes varies from location to location. Discolored water may also occur in areas outside of those being actively flushed, so it's good to have an awareness regardless of our crew locations.
Why is this necessary?
- Our source water is high in iron content. While we do filter for it, we don't get 100% and a small portion remains in solution, passing through our filters. Over time, this iron , and other minerals, build a crust on the inside of our pipelines in a process called "scaling" (named because the crust resembles the pattern of fish scales).
- To mitigate the chances of the iron de-scaling and causing sporadic discolored water, flushing allows us to control, to some extent, when and where this occurs, and prevents buildup from becoming unmanageable.
- We do this every spring prior to the start of irrigation season, as the increased usage in the summer increases the likelihood of un-planned descaling events.
- This is done in conjunction with our valve and hydrant maintenance programs. ensuring the accessibility, functionality and reliability of these assets.
My Water is Brown! Is it safe? What do I do?
YES! Your water does remain safe for consumption. Iron is a non-regulated (tier 2) contaminant, there are no known negative health side-effects. It can affect the aesthetic qualities of your drinking water (taste, color, odor). It is safe.
- However, we understand that it is not appealing! We ask that you take the following steps:
- Run your COLD water faucets for 10 minutes. If it clears up great! If not proceed to step 2.
- Wait 4(ish) hours. Repeat the process of running your cold water, this time for 15 minutes.
- If after the second flush the brown water persists, give us a call (303-688-8550) or submit an email through our "water quality" form in the contact us section of our website. We will provide further information, and if necessary dispatch a crew to do additional flushing in your area!
What NOT to do...
- If you are experiencing discolored water, DO NOT run your hot water, or do any laundry or dishes! Pulling the discolored water into your water heater isn't the end of the world, but you may need to flush your water heater separately to clear it up.
- The discolored water can also cause laundry and fixture staining. If you experience any issues with laundry or fixture discoloration we recommend the following (use as directed on product packaging):
- If there is laundry staining, we recommend "Iron Out" a laundry detergent product that is effective a removing iron stains from fabrics.
- For any fixture staining (especially porcelain) "Bar Keepers Friend" does the trick.