Flushing Complete East of Randolph, Continuing West of Randolph
Elkins, W. Va., August 26, 2021: Water-line flushing east of Randolph Avenue is complete, and crews will begin flushing west of Randolph Avenue tonight. The Elkins Fire Department is flow-testing all fire hydrants in Fourth Ward today. Water lines are being flushed 5 p.m.-5 a.m. Monday-Friday, and work is expected to continue for the next two weeks.
Tonight’s flushing, which starts at 5 p.m., will begin in the vicinity of Randolph Avenue and Eleventh Street and proceed north between the Tygart River and Randolph. The hydrants to be flushed starting tonight lie in the easternmost part of First Ward and Second Ward. Hydrants in Fifth Ward will be flushed as well.
On the city’s online Water Line Flushing Map (www.bit.ly/Elkins-Flushing-Map), these hydrants are in Section 2 and are identified by green dots. (See screenshot, below.)
“Last night’s flushing in Fourth Ward went pretty quickly,” said Wes Lambert, the chief operator of the city’s water system. “The further we move out from Reservoir Hill, the longer it is going to take to clear some of the lines.”
To flush the lines, Water Distribution Department workers systematically open fire hydrants and let the water flow at full force until water clears. After flushing is complete, the Elkins Fire Department will perform flow testing on each hydrant to ensure they are operating as required for emergencies.
Although 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.
Each week, the city will use its social media channels, email alert list, and website to announce which sections of the city will be flushed. The information will also be supplied to the media.
City officials are currently investigating whether funds awarded to Elkins under the American Rescue Project Act (ARPA) may be used to replace older water mains and make other improvements to the water distribution system.
“We are hoping to take some concrete steps soon toward a more permanent solution for customers experiencing discolored water,” says Lambert. “Until then, regular line flushing is the best tool we have for at least reducing the problems people are having. Unfortunately, some people are going to see discolored water as we proceed. We just hope everyone will be patient and bear with us as we get this program rolling again.”
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 alerts (www.cityofelkinswv.com/newsletter-signup), and follow us via Facebook (www.facebook.com/elkinscityhall) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/elkinscityhall). The Water Line Flushing Map is here: www.bit.ly/Elkins-Flushing-Map.