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Starting next week, residents might see water flowing from the fire hydrants around Pocatello.
On Monday, crews with the City Water Department will begin the annual process of flushing the water distribution system that delivers clean water to citizens. During the process, workers open the valves on fire hydrants around the city allowing water to remove any build-up of material in water pipes.
“Flushing the system allows us to do a number of things,” said Justin Armstrong, Water Department Superintendent. “First, it helps to clear any sediment from mainline pipes to help enhance water quality. Secondly, it allows us to verify the proper operation of fire hydrants and their valves. Third, it lets us verify there would be ample flow to the fire hydrant in the case of a fire. Lastly, it also helps us identify any inefficiencies within the system.”
During the system flush, residents may notice a temporary drop in their water pressure. Also, water may be rust-colored or cloudy but Armstrong says the discolored water is not harmful and will clear up in a few hours.
“If you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using a washing machine or a dishwasher until the flushing is complete,” Armstrong said. “If you see crews in your neighborhood, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.”
Officials estimate the flushing process will take about three weeks but due to unforeseen circumstances, the schedule may be altered or extended.