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Water main flushing is a routine operation done to clean and maintain our water system. During this activity, water is forced through underground water mains at high speed and flushed out of the fire hydrants to remove accumulated sediment.
This flushing is done until the water coming out through the main runs clear. This is done one section at a time until each section runs clear. This operation can take a few minutes to several hours.
It is a mission of the Town of Plainfield Water Distribution Department to provide a reliable, safe drinking water supply. A flushing program is used to improve water quality, restore water pressure and protect pipe integrity. Part of the program also involves testing valves and fire hydrants to ensure they are operating properly. The Town of Plainfield Water Distribution Department maintains approximately 300 miles of distribution pipelines and 2500 fire hydrants.
To minimize impacts on water services, this maintenance is generally scheduled during working hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Schedules may change if something happens in the system that requires immediate attention or repair.
During flushing operation, residents may hear water discharging with force from the hydrants and see water flowing in the streets. Drivers are asked to take extra care during this time so as to avoid hydroplaning and other hazardous conditions.
When crews are flushing the water system close to your residence or business, you may experience temporary periods of low water pressure. Flushing operations may also lead to brown or discolored water, which can be drawn into homes and businesses if the water is being used during or immediately following the flushing. This is a temporary condition and should only affect customers for a few hours at most.
The discoloration can stain porcelain and laundry. It is best to make sure our water is clear before doing laundry or other projects for which discolored water could cause problems. If discoloration occurs, open the cold tap nearest the water main, usually the front outside faucet, to full flow and run the water into your garden or lawn for a few minutes until it is clear.
If the water does not clear the first time, wait a few minutes and run the water again. Also, it is important to not run hot water if you notice it is discolored, as the discolored water can be drawn into the hot water tank.
Yes. The temporary discoloration is caused by minerals and other fine particles, such as iron and manganese, which are not harmful to your health and are found in every drinking water system.
To clean the pipes effectively, water must be discharged from the fire hydrants with sufficient speed and volume. The flow is stopped as soon as the water is clear so that only the amount needed to clean the system is released into the street. Safety, regulatory and logistical considerations prevent us from capturing this water for reuse.
Flushing operations are conducted once a year in the spring. The areas of our system that have dead-end mains, where water can become stagnant, are flushed twice a year. The entire system is flushed every year in the spring.