2021 Water Main Flushing Program
(August 2021- September 2021)
Purpose of the Water Main Flushing Program:
The purpose of the flushing program is to provide better water quality and service to our customers. The program is designed to adhere to the Nebraska DEE mandated water quality improvement regulations. Flushing water mains removes sediment that may have accumulated in the pipes over several years. Although the City has flushed mains and hydrants in the past, these activities have been sporadic and usually due to new construction activities or at the request of customers. This program is a comprehensive system-wide cleaning that will take place on a regular basis to ensure high levels of water quality within the distribution system.
Where will the Water Main Flushing Program Take Place?
It is the intent of the program to flush the entire town. Flushing will begin on the Southwest part of town and move east.
When will the Water Main Flushing Program Take Place?
Generally, flushing will take place during the months of August & September between the hours of 7a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. There may be times when flushing operations may occur outside of these hours.
How is Flushing of the Water Mains Achieved?
To effectively flush the water mains, a target scouring velocity of 5 feet per second is desired. Conventional flushing which consists of sequentially opening fire hydrants can sometimes achieve the target velocities. In locations where the target velocity cannot be achieved, unidirectional flushing is required. Unidirectional flushing is a systematic method of closing water main valves and opening hydrants to direct water one-way at high velocities through defined segments of pipe. Both unidirectional flushing and conventional flushing induce high water velocities which effectively removes deposits and cleans the pipe. The benefits of flushing include removal of rust and sediment, improved chlorine residual, and reduction in taste and odor; all of which can help provide high quality water to our residents.
The water main flushing program has been developed to start at the water source to systematically draw clean water through the system. The water main flushing route has been designed to follow the regular flow of the water. Since the source of water for the City of Albion is on the Southwest side of town, those areas will be flushed first. In each area, water mains requiring unidirectional flushing will be flushed first followed by water mains that will be flushed by conventional flushing. This might result in unidirectional flushing occurring on some streets at one time, and then conventional flushing on adjoining streets a few days or weeks later. So be aware that a given area could be impacted by flushing on multiple, non-consecutive days.
How Will Flushing Affect Water Service?
When flushing crews are working near your residence or business, you may experience periods of very low pressure or even a complete stoppage of service. We will attempt to notify customers in advance if flushing is expected to result in a complete water outage, but such outages are rare. If you have special water needs or specific time restrictions, please notify the City of Albion Water Department. Should you experience an extended loss of water service (more than one hour), please call 402-395-2428.
Given the scouring velocities involved, flushing operations will likely lead to discolored water, which can be drawn into homes and businesses if the water is being used during, or immediately following, the flushing. Such events should affect customers for a few hours at most. The discoloration is caused by iron (red color), or manganese (black color) particles being dislodged from the water main, which can stain porcelain and laundry. If discoloration occurs, open the cold tap nearest the water meter—usually a basement sink or outside spigot—to full flow until the water runs clear. In some situations, this may take five to ten minutes.
It is also advised that you make sure your water is clear before doing laundry or other projects for which discolored water could cause problems. This may require running a cold-water cycle through your washing machine in addition to the steps listed above.
Unfortunately, customers will likely be impacted by flushing operations. Please be patient and notify us, if you have a loss of water service or if discoloration extends beyond a few hours. Discolored water poses no threat to your health, although it is recommended to avoid drinking or cooking with the discolored water.
Things you can do as a homeowner or business owner:
If cloudiness is noticed in your water:
- Stop all water use and wait. Several hours may be needed to rid the cloudiness from the water mains that serve your premise. Check a faucet or water spigot near the water meter every hour or so until cloudiness dissipates.
If red or brown discoloration is noticed in your water:
- Turn on outside spigots
- Turn on cold water bathtub faucets
- Turn on a cold tap nearest the water meter-usually a basement sink or outdoor spigot
- All of the above will help clear the rust/magnesium from your water service lines.
Be certain discolored water is out of your service lines before using large amounts of water, doing laundry or running the dishwasher.
Do not wash clothes or run a dishwasher during or immediately after flushing takes place.
If laundry does become stained, do not dry it; request a free packet of Red-B-Gone stain remover from the City Office, 420 West Market Street, or call (402) 395-2428. This product may remove the stains.
Red-B-Gone stain remover may also remove stains left on porcelain.
Although discolored water poses no threat to your health, you may wish to avoid drinking or cooking with it.
The City of Albion appreciates your patience as we work to improve the quality of drinking water provided to our valued customers.