Flushing fire hydrants is one of the most important maintenance practices that can be performed on a water distribution system. This program is essential in maintaining and delivering clean water. If the weather cooperates, the City of Orem Water Section will flush the water system beginning April 21, 2014. This endeavor should take approximately four weeks to complete. During this time, you will see Water Section personnel in your neighborhoods flowing fire hydrants. This may cause temporary inconveniences with low water pressure or discolored water because sediment in the water lines is disturbed. Again, these inconveniences are only temporary and normal operations will be restored before personnel leave your area.
When you see fire hydrants being flushed on your street, we recommend that you not use water inside your home. If you detect discolored water, do not drink the water or wash your laundry. While discolored water is not harmful to your health, it can stain laundry. After we have left the area, turn on one of the cold-water taps in your home for a few minutes to flush out your system.
You can help in this effort by allowing full access to fire hydrants in your neighborhood. Please move parked vehicles away from fire hydrants in order to give personnel plenty of room to maneuver. In addition, you can help by keeping children from playing in the water as it flows down the street. Working together, we can minimize safety concerns. Many of the positive results of hydrant flushing are listed below:
1. Corrosion Control. Flushing introduces higher than normal water velocities that literally scour the inside of water lines.
2. Taste and Odor Control. Flushing removes many of the deposits, sediment, and other materials that affect water quality with respect to taste and odor.
3. Chlorine Residuals. Flushing will allow the City to use less chlorine, but still maintain trace amounts in the water system as required by State and EPA regulations.
4. Bacteria Control. Anaerobic bacteria growth in drinking water systems can occur when an area becomes stagnant, but can be eliminated through flushing.
5. Fire Hydrant Exercising. Operating fire hydrants helps to ensure that they will work properly in times of emergency.
6. Valve Exercising. Locating and operating valves helps to ensure they will work properly in times of need.
7. Monitor System Operation. Flushing allows water personnel to evaluate hydraulic flows in water mains.
The City of Orem is aware of inherent issues associated with a project of this magnitude, particularly on the heels of a drought. We reaffirm the fact that we have an adequate supply of water to accomplish this task and provide enough water for the coming year. We are committed to conserving water, energy, and labor by flushing no more than what is necessary. The personnel you will see flushing fire hydrants have been trained in proven water system maintenance practices. Thank you for your cooperation with this project. If you have questions or concerns, please call the Department of Public Works Water Section at 229-7500.