City starts semi-annual water system maintenance

Published 7:51 pm Thursday, April 7, 2022

Beaufort County and city of Washington residents might notice a difference in how their water looks or tastes Monday morning.

The Beaufort County Water Department-Northside (BCWD-NS) and the City of Washington will temporarily change the disinfectant used in the water treatment process.

“It’s something we do twice a year, usually in the spring and fall,” city manager Jonathan Russell said. “It’s to encourage better water circulation throughout the system and gives our crews a chance to inspect the lines and valves to make sure everything is in proper operating order.”

This will affect both City of Washington and Beaufort County Water Department customers located on the north side of the Pamlico River. As part of state-required regular maintenance, BCWD-NS and the City of Washington will use free chlorine rather than chloramines, a mixture of chlorine and ammonia, as the disinfectant.

“It helps maintain our water quality and allows for seasonal temperature changes,” Russell explained. “It’s part of the routine process and also helps us make sure we don’t have any dead lines.”

Some customers may notice a slight increase in chlorine taste or odor. People and businesses that take special precautions to remove chloramines from tap water, such as dialysis centers, medical facilities, and aquatic pet owners, should continue to take the same precautions.

Hydrant flushing and testing will also take place during this time. BCWD-NS will be hydrant flushing April 11th through May 23rd (day and night) and the City of Washington will be hydrant flushing during the week of May 23rd. Cloudiness or discoloration may appear. These changes are normal and will clear after a short period.

“There’s no cause for alarm if you are driving past a hydrant that has water spilling out,” Russell said. “It’s not a leak and we want folks to know that it’s part of the flushing process.”

For additional information, customers may call Beaufort County Water Department at (252) 975-0720 or the City of Washington at (252) 975-9310.