Hydrant maintenance may bring cloudy water

Published 5:28 pm Monday, November 4, 2019

City of Washington water customers may see some brief drops in pressure and cloudiness in their tap water as public works employees flush and test local fire hydrants this week.

The maintenance began Monday morning and is scheduled to take place throughout the first half of the week at locations throughout the city and beyond. According to a press release from the City, the pressure drops should only last a few minutes, but may leave cloudiness in tap water.

“We typically flush the system twice a year, and we do that for two reasons,” said Washington Public Works Director Adam Waters. “One is to test the fire hydrant and make sure it has flow and is operating properly in case it’s needed by the fire department. The other reason is we’re flushing the lines. As water moves through the distribution system, you typically get some sediment in the lines, and this will flush this out.”

Waters said the flushing will also help maintain the chlorine residual that helps disinfect the local water supply and protect against waterborne pathogens.

To disperse the cloudiness, officials recommend running a spigot at the farthest location from the tap for a few minutes. If you still have problems after this, call the Utilities Operation Center at 252-975-9320 and report the problem.

The majority of the work will be done at night from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m., so as to not be disruptive to customers. The following is the schedule for the remainder of the week:

  • Monday night — East side of town North of Fifth Street and East of Market Street.
  • Tuesday daytime — Whichard’s Beach Road, U.S. Highway 17 south of the bridge, River Birch, Market Street Extension, Spring Road, etc.
  • Tuesday night — South of Fifth Street and east of Market Street.
  • Wednesday daytime — Northgate, Maple Branch, Flanders Filters Road, Industrial Park, etc.
  • Wednesday night — Everything west of Market Street out to the western portion of the system.

Unlike a system pressure advisory issued during a water-line break, Waters says there is no reason for residents to boil water during the maintenance.