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Yes. The sediments that get stirred up may not be aesthetically pleasing and can cause the water to discolor and stain laundry, but they are not harmful.
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Water system flushing (also known as hydrant flushing) is a routine maintenance process that involves the systematic flushing of the water distribution lines to remove sediment and improve water quality. When flushing, fire hydrants are opened, increasing the velocity of the water moving through the pipes. This process cleans the pipes and removes the sediments that can affect the taste and color of drinking water.
Flushing is a routine maintenance process that removes sediment and improves water quality. Without regular flushing, sediment can build up in the pipes and affect the quality, taste and color of drinking water.
Isolated areas of the city, especially on cul-de-sacs or small development areas, do not draw water through the system at high velocities. This lets any sediment in the water to precipitate out and settle on the bottom of the pipes. Fall flushing in these areas helps to remove the sediment and maintain higher quality of water in the system.
After the water is de-chlorinated, it is discharged into the storm drainage system.
The flushing process does not typically interrupt water service, but it can happen on occasion. A loss of water pressure is more common. Water also may appear cloudy or discolored for a short time.
Wait until the nearby flushing is completed, remove faucet aerators and filters and run cold water for 5-10 minutes. If water still is not clear, wait 30 minutes and try again. Running the water in a bathtub speeds up the cleaning process and provides a light background to help you monitor the discoloration. Another option is to run the garden hose, weather permitting, until the water clears. Though discolored, the water can be used on plants and landscape.
Please minimize water use while crews are in your neighborhood. To avoid the risk of drawing sediments into your hot water tank, do not use any hot water. Avoid doing laundry during this time as the sediments in the water may cause stains.
Before drying, rewash the clothes when both the cold and hot water are clear. Non-chlorine bleach (such as Clorox II) may be used to help remove the stains. Do not use chlorine bleach.
Flushing is an essential preventative maintenance strategy for the water system and also provides an opportunity to inspect the fire hydrants for operation and safety.
For additional information, please contact Blaine Public Works at 763-785-6165 or PW@BlaineMN.gov.