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Water maintenance could stain clothes, impact dialysis, aquariums

Washington and Beaufort County water customers on the north side of the Pamlico River may potentially see some interesting changes in their tap water during the next two months. It may turn a darker color. It might have a little grit in it. From time to time, it could even taste and smell a little bit like chlorine.

While these changes might sound alarming, according to a notice from the Beaufort County Water Department, such occurrences are a normal part of flushing water from fire hydrants throughout the area. This process will begin today and continue through June 4.

For most, these conditions will represent nothing more than a slight inconvenience. Water customers are advised to not wash clothes when discolored water is present, as this could stain light-colored clothing. Customers who use tap water for at-home kidney dialysis should consult with their doctors, and individuals with aquariums should monitor chlorine levels to protect their fish.

The flushing of fire hydrants is standard practice for water systems, and accomplishes three purposes: removing sediment from water lines, preventing water stagnation and bacteria growth and ensuring that hydrants are in working order with appropriate water pressure.

“Please keep in mind that this task is part of our efforts to provide a safe, potable water supply for our drinking water customers,” the notice concludes.

Those with further questions on this maintenance can call the Beaufort County Water Department at 252-975-0720.