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Line flushing may cause cloudy water

October 20, 2012
By Anthony Gaynor - Staff Writer ( , The Inter-Mountain

The city of Elkins will begin a new water line flushing program to help clean the lines to provide the best drinking water possible on Sunday.

Elkins Operations Manager Bob Pingley said residents will experience cloudy water during the seven-to-10 day project.

"The whole aim of this program is to flush the lines," he said. "It is an effort to get rid of discolored water, provide the best drinking water and meet DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) regulations."

Pingley said the flushing will begin around 8 p.m. on Sunday and will be conducted by opening fire hydrants and letting the water run until it is clear. He said there is no way of determining how long the department will spend at each hydrant because it is unknown how long it will take to flush the line. Water Department officials will open hydrants closest to the water storage tanks and then work their way out to the furthest points in the system.

"We haven't done this in a long time and we know it is going to stir up the system. We know there will be cloudy water," Pingley said. "That is why we are doing it at night. We want to reduce the amount of cloudy water residents will experience."

Pingley said how long the water will remain cloudy depends on how long it will take for the water lines to clear. He said anyone who experiences cloudy water during the flushing should allow the water in their home to run for 30 minutes. If the water is still cloudy let it sit for an hour, then run the water for another 30 minutes, he said.

He said if anyone does laundry during that period it could cause slight stains.

"The more usage while we are flushing, the more likely it is to pull the cloudy water in the home," Pingley said.

He said anyone who experiences stains in their clothing can contact the city and receive Red B Gone, a chemical to add to laundry that will remove the stains. The city will provide the chemical for free. To get the product call the city at 304-636-1414.

Pingley said in total that 78 hydrants will be opened up over the course of the seven to 10 days it should take to complete the flushing. Water customers near the hydrants may see a "slight" drop in water pressure when the hydrants are opened.

He does not believe the program will cause any issues with the water supply.

"We will fill the tanks as far as we can like we do everyday," he said. "I don't believe there will be supply problems."

Pingley said the water plant will pump extra water during the day to make up for the flushing.

"If there is a major fire or a line break we will have to stop the program," Pingley said.



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