Water System to Undergo Spring Cleaning in April
Annual flushing activity helps maintain quality water service
You may see Kentucky American Water crews in your area this spring opening fire hydrants and letting them flow for a period of time. This is all part of a necessary maintenance activity for the water distribution system called “flushing.” Flushing is a key activity that helps Kentucky American Water to continue providing excellent quality water to customers because it helps to remove normal sediment in the pipes that collects over time.
During a flushing activity, crews open selected fire hydrants in a coordinated fashion so that water can flow through the water mains and out of the hydrants at an accelerated pace. Crews de-chlorinate the water as it leaves hydrants in order to remove the disinfecting agent in the water –free chlorine –so that any water that enters streams is not harmful to aquatic life.
This year’s water system flushing activity will take place in Fayette County during the evening and overnight hours beginning Sunday, April 19and continue through Friday, May 1. Flushing in the company’s Owenton service area will occur during daytime working hours starting
Tuesday, April 21 and conclude on Friday, April 24. Scott County area flushing will occur during daytime working hours from Sunday, May 3, through Wednesday, May 6, and Clark County service areas will be flushed during daytime working hours on Thursday, May 7.
According to Keith Cartier, vice president of operations for Kentucky American Water, “Periodic flushing of water mains is good for the overall quality of the water delivered to customers as well as for the performance of the distribution system. Flowing water at a relatively high speed from specifically targeted hydrants helps remove any sediment that may have accumulated in the lines over time.”
To prepare for the flushing program, Kentucky American Water will temporarily modify its water treatment process beginning Thursday, April 16, by switching from using chloramines as a disinfectant to free chlorine, which is an alternative disinfectant. During this time, customers may notice a slightly stronger smell of chlorine in their tap water, especially when using hot water. The water remains quality tap water and poses no health concerns. In fact, many water utilities use free chlorine as a disinfectant throughout the year. Customers who must de-chlorinate their water, such as fish owners or kidney dialysis units, do not need to make any change to their current de-chlorination procedures as a result of this temporary change. The company will resume using chloramines as a disinfectant on Monday, May 11.
It’s possible that customers may also experience a slight discoloration of their water when crews are working in their areas of town. Should you notice discolored water coming from the tap, simply run your cold water faucet until the water clears. The water still meets all drinking water regulations, but customers may want to avoid such activities as washing clothes when crews are flushing in their areas, since there is potential for discolored water that could stain clothing.
Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately half a million people. The company was recognized as a Best Place to Work in Kentucky in 2014. For more information, visit www.kentuckyamwater.com
Founded in 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 6,600 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 14 million people in more than 40 states and parts of Canada. More information can be found at www.amwater.com
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