News Flash


Posted on: April 2, 2018

Water Department - Hydrant Flushing



The Pepperell Water Division will begin its water main flushing program in April 2018

and continue through June 2018 or until its completion. Flushing will be conducted in the daytime, between the hours of 8:00 am and 3:00 pm. Monday through Friday.

“HYDRANT FLUSHING IN PROGRESS” signs will be posted in areas to be flushed before and during this flushing process. The signs will move with the flushing process as we progress through town.  Residents in the general flushing area should expect to

be affected.  The flushing process may cause temporary discolored water and reduced water pressure to some residents in the area during the flushing process.  Residents are advised to restrict water use while their neighborhood is being flushed to avoid drawing dirty looking, but perfectly safe water, into their homes.  Flushing may also cause minor flooding of streets.  If your water does not clear up after 3:00 p.m.,  please run your COLD water into your bath tub for up to 20 minutes.  Running water at the bath tub will avoid clogging the faucet aerators with sediment at your sinks.  If your tap water is not clear after 24 hours, please call the Water Division at 978-433-5528.

What is Water Main Flushing?

Water main flushing is the process of cleaning or "scouring" the interior of water distribution mains by sending a rapid flow of water through the mains. Distribution mains convey water to homes, businesses and hydrants in your neighborhood. Our distribution water mains are supplied with water by larger transmission lines, pump stations, and storage tanks.

Flushing helps maintain water quality.

The water entering our distribution mains is of very high quality; however, water quality can deteriorate in distribution mains if the mains are not properly managed. That is why flushing is important. Flushing removes sediment from the mains. Sediment

is undesirable not because they pose health concerns but because they can degrade the "acceptability" of the water by affecting its taste, clarity or color. Also flushing helps remove "stale" water in areas where our system may dead-end instead of being looped.

Iron and manganese, which are naturally present in Pepperell’s groundwater, cause the sediment and color. It is recommended not to ingest (drink, cook, or prepare baby formula with) discolored water, but it is safe for activities such as bathing and dishwashing.

How much water is used to flush mains?

That depends on many factors, such as main size, system pressure, the amount of sediment and the ability to dispose of the water used in flushing. A significant amount of water is used to flush mains; using this water may seem to be inconsistent with water conservation. However, protecting water quality is also a critical goal of the Pepperell Water Division, and the trade-off is to conduct flushing, but use as little water as possible, while still being effective.

What can I do to prepare for flushing in my community?

Draw water for cooking ahead of time.

Store a large bottle of water in the refrigerator for drinking.

Check for discolored water before using the washing machine or dishwasher.

Note: If your laundry becomes stained. DO NOT USE BLEACH AND DO NOT PUT YOUR LAUNDRY IN THE DRYER. Rewash clothes immediately using more detergent or a heavy duty detergent and add a rust remover. Most rust removers can also be used on stained fixtures.

For any questions regarding this program, call the Water Division at 978-433-5528.

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