Status of Hydrant Flushing

Fall Hydrant FlushingAn update on the status of the Town's annual unidirectional water main flushing program.

In response to questions received regarding the flushing procedures for the Plainville Water System, we offer the following:

  • The Public Works Department provides notice to residents as a courtesy, so you are informed should you notice any change in pressure or "discolored" water and understand that it is temporary.
  • The water system is flushed twice a year in the spring and fall to maintain clean pipelines.
  • The flushing procedure begins at the closest hydrant to the source of flow in each area of Town. It continues to the hydrants located at the farthest ends of those sections to ensure that all sediments are removed and impacts to the water consumers are minimal.
  • When the DPW began this flushing program four years ago, we anticipated the impacts because the system had never been fully flushed and not flushed bi-annually or directionally as required. We had many complaints of discolored water, and residents would be asked to flush their systems until the water was clear, which would take about five to fifteen minutes and perhaps even longer for some folks.

In the following years, with continued bi-annual directional flushing, the system became cleaner and cleaner, and very little sediment is now found in the system. Most of what we see is barrel rust from the Hydrants. What took the crews 11 weeks in the initial directional flushing is done in four to five weeks, depending on staffing and other commitments. Now hydrants are typically running clear in just a few minutes in most areas of Town, and impacts to water consumers are very rare, although it can happen, and that's why we provide notice.

The Public Works Department does not have dozens of staff working in Operations of the water system. We have five field staff working to maintain both the water and sewer systems, and at times other work must be prioritized, and flushing may be put on hold until we can dedicate the two staff members working on this task.

We need to flush some isolated areas in off-hours due to the impacts flushing can create in high-demand and or low-pressure zones, but these are generally in the commercial and large multi-family residential zones in Town.

We don't anticipate any issues with this round of water system flushing; however, should you have any problems at all, please get in touch with the Water Operations Supervisor, Steven Nunnery or myself.

I hope you have found this information helpful, and Steve and I are always available to respond to any questions, comments, or concerns.


Paul Scott