Flushing is an important preventative maintenance activity
The Frederick County Division of Utilities and Solid Waste Management (DUSWM) will be flushing fire hydrants in the Waterside community and the Oakdale Village subdivision starting June 24, 2019.
Flushing programs are used to maintain optimal levels of water quality in the water distribution system. Because water mains typically are sized to allow adequate and safe flow for fire protection, water typically moves through piping at a very low velocity. This slow movement allows mineral and silt deposits to build up over time, which can restrict water flow, contribute to corrosion and create water color problems. Periodic flushing of water lines removes this material, which helps to maintain infrastructure and consistently high quality water.
DUSWM Director Kevin Demosky explained, “Our crews know the importance of water conservation and carefully monitor the flow of water during our hydrant flushing program. The process of periodically flushing fire hydrants is an important preventive maintenance activity necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and allows us to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers.”
Most customers will not even be aware that flushing is taking place, but some may notice a change in water pressure and discoloration of the water during this process. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and precipitates and does not affect the safety of the water. Nonetheless, residents are asked to check their cold water prior to using it for cooking or laundry. Should the water appear discolored, they are advised to run the water faucet, or spigot, nearest the water meter for several minutes to let the water clear up.
If any customers experience discoloration that does not clear up when running a faucet or spigot, they are asked to call 301-600-1825 during normal working hours (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) or 301-600-2194 after hours and on weekends.
Flushing typically takes place from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. daily and water service will not be interrupted. The locations and schedule is as follows:
- June 24 to June 26 Oakdale Village
- July 9 to July 10 Waterside Community
- July 16 to July 17 Waterside Community
Residents are encouraged to practice similar preventive maintenance in their own homes. A water heater should be drained and flushed at least once a year to keep it working efficiently and to protect the quality of water inside the home. Also, it is good practice, in instances where no water is used in a home for a week or more, residents should run all the faucets for a minute or so before using the water to ensure that there is no stagnant water in the pipes.
For further information, contact DUSWM Water Purification/Distribution Superintendent Ken Orndorff at 301-600-1825 or via e-mail at korndorff@FrederickCountyMD.gov.