Water Main Weekly Flushing Alert

For the week beginning 5/14/2018

The final phase for Spring flushing will take place on Brook Street.

Flushing will resume in the Fall and updates will be posted on this site weekly.

The Town began flushing of the water mains on February 27th. This is typically done with any municipal water system to remove any sediment that may build up in the pipe. The Town opens hydrants along the water line, stirring up the sediment in the pipe which is then removed from the system thru hydrants located at the limits of the flushing area. This is done to prevent the sediment from being stirred up in the water lines during a fire, high demand time of year or a broken water line. Most of the sediment is removed from the pipes but some does escape into the system which causes the discoloration of water.

The water system is a closed system and sediment can spread throughout the system until it is flushed.  Removing discolored water from your residence begins by allowing water to flush from an outdoor spigot. This will prevent sediment from entering fixtures in the residence. It is also why Border Street can experience brown water from a hydrant that is opened on Front Street. The sediment travels thru the system until it can escape. The entire water system is controlled by pressure and elevation.

Where does the brown water come from? The major cause of the discolored water is old unlined water pipes that can react with the minerals naturally occurring in water. In the past the Town has been unable to have a flushing program because these pre-1935 pipes would break from the pressure of the program.  The Town is heavily dependent on ground water wells as a source of drinking water which can also be rich in minerals and contribute to the brown water. These minerals consist of iron or manganese.

The Town will do preemptive flushing to remove sediment from the system and try to prevent future brown water concerns when usages are highest.  The most recent phase of the water replacement work that was completed in December has impacted areas of town with brown water earlier in this year than in the past.    

This information will be updated weekly with a listing of the general areas of town where flushing will take place.  Signs will be placed in the areas to be flushed at least one day prior to the start of flushing.  Flushing will occur Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9:00AM and 2:00PM. 

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we continue our work to improve and maintain our water supply.