By Harold McNeil
News Staff Reporter
The Erie County Water Authority will begin flushing its dead end water mains starting Monday.
Routine systematic flushing will be done in the City of Tonawanda and the towns of Newstead, Boston, Eden, Alden, Marilla and Aurora. According Brian Gould of e3 communications, it is an annual preventative maintenance procedure designed to improve water quality and service delivery.
Over time, the dead-end water mains tend to accumulate sediments that can reduce water carrying capacity and also be a source of color, taste and odor problems. Flushing the mains remove such substances and also help to identify areas in the system that need additional maintenance or improvement.
“With almost 3,500 miles of water mains throughout our extensive distribution system, the annual main flushing program helps us prevent sediment build up and cost effectively improve water quality and service delivery on behalf of our customers,” said Francis G. Warthling, chairman of the water authority’s Board of Commissioners.
The procedure is fairly simple and can be completed without any interruptions in water service, Warthling added. Flushing is done by partially opening a hydrant or a blow off located near the affected area. The hydrant or blow off is kept open until all sediments have been removed.
Main flushing will be done from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and will continue until the fall. Erie County Water Authority customers who live in areas where the mains are being flushed occurs may experience low pressure and discolored water during the procedure, but the conditions will be only temporary and subside after the flushing is completed.
If discoloration occurs, customers are advised to run the cold water tap at the lowest point of their residence or business for a few minutes or until the water runs clear. Clothing should not be laundered if water is discolored, or else staining could result.
Water quality will not be adversely affected and is entirely safe to drink during the main flushing procedure, water officials said.