The 87th Civil Engineer Squadron flushes the fire hydrants every spring and fall. The hydrant-flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the base’s water distribution system. During this process, it is not uncommon for a yellow, brown or reddish tint to appear in the water. Harmless mineral deposits settle in the water mains, and flushing the system stirs the deposits causing the discoloration. Flushing removes the sediments from the mains and also serves the following purposes:
· Improves water quality in the distribution system.
· Verifies the proper operation of fire hydrants and valves
· Helps find weaknesses in the water system
· Checks for closed valves and weak flows in the water mains
· Verifies adequate flows for fire fighting
What should I do when the flushing is in my area?
If you see the crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is completed. Please drive carefully if you see the flushing crew working in the area.
What could I expect before and after flushing?
· If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out discolored and contain sediment. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. If the water is clear, it’s acceptable to use. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again. In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.
· The water may also have a milky appearance. This is due to tiny air bubbles and will dissipate out and it is not harmful.
· Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first. Hot water tanks can hold discolored water for some time after the cold water runs clear.
· If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped particles. There may be a temporary drop in water pressure.
· Flush your hot water tanks, by running the hot water tap for a few minutes after the cold water clears.
· You may notice a more pronounced chlorine taste or odor in the water during springtime flushing. This is because free chlorine has a more noticeable chlorine taste and odor. This will dissipate when water is left in an open container in the refrigerator. Letting water in a glass sit for a moment will also take care of air bubbles that are stirred up during flushing and cause the milky appearance.
Flushing schedule is based on designated areas. Family housing is included in the following area sections:
Proposed Spring 2018 Hydrant Flushing Schedule:
23-April-18 through 25-April-18
26-April-18 through 28-April-18
29-April-18 through 1-May-18
2-May-18 through 4-May-18
5-May-18 through 7-May-18
8-May-18 through 10-May-18
11-May-18 through 13-May-18
· 3300 area on McGuire
14-May-18 through 16-May-18
17-May-18 through 19-May-18