Starting Monday, Elkins Water Board employees will be opening fire hydrants to flush out city water lines. During this time, it will be normal to see unattended fire hydrants spraying water under pressure. Customers may experience temporary discoloration that should clear up within minutes or hours.
On a biannual basis, water board employees open fire hydrants to flush water lines of accumulated sediments that can cause discoloration in customers’ homes and other buildings. To flush the lines, water system workers systematically open fire hydrants and let the water flow at full force until water appears clear in a white paper cup.
This work will proceed by sections, starting at elevation on Reservoir Hill, above the Wees District, and working westward across the city. The city will use its social media channels, email alert list, and website to announce which sections of the city will be flushed each day. The information will also be supplied to the media.
After flushing is complete in each section of the city, the Elkins Fire Department will perform flow testing on each hydrant to verify that they are operating according to specifications. Although flow testing only requires hydrants to be open for a few minutes, it takes longer than flushing because each hydrant must be tested. Flushing does not require opening every hydrant, because many sit near each other on the same line.
Even though the overall goal of the flushing is to reduce sediment in water lines, customers in or near a section of the city that is being flushed may temporarily experience heightened discoloration in their water. This does not indicate that the water is unsafe to drink, cook with, or bathe in, but it would be advisable to avoid doing laundry until any remaining sediment has settled once again.
Customers experiencing cloudy or discolored water can try leaving taps open in a bathtub or sink for 20 minutes. It is important not to run hot water, however, as that would fill the building’s water heater with water that contains sediments.
To keep up with City of Elkins news and announcements about this and other topics, bookmark our website (www.cityofelkinswv.com), sign up for email and text alerts (www.cityofelkinswv.com/emergency-text-notifications), and follow us via Facebook (www.facebook.com/elkinscityhall) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/elkinscityhall).