Starting Monday, residents may see water flowing from Pocatello’s fire hydrants.
May 11 will mark the beginning of the City of Pocatello Water Department’s annual water system flushing efforts. 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.
“Our yearly system flush allows us to accomplish several things,” said Justin Armstrong, Water Department Superintendent. “First, it helps to clear any sediment within the pipes to ensure residents are receiving high-quality water. Second, it helps us to verify the condition and proper operation of fire hydrants. Last, 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.
Officials ask that if you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using a washing machine or dishwasher until the flushing is complete. Additionally, they ask drivers to please treat the crew like any other road work personnel and drive carefully.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employees will take separate vehicles to each flushing site and maintain appropriate social distance between themselves and the public.
The flushing process will take about three weeks but due to unforeseen circumstances, the schedule may be altered or extended.
The City of Pocatello Water Department operates and maintains over 275 miles of water lines, 21 water supply wells, 16 water storage tanks, 12 booster pumping stations and 42 pressure reducing valves.
For more information on the City of Pocatello Water Department, visit pocatello.us/water.
City officials encourage all residents to take precautions to protect themselves from novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Additional information on ways to help prevent the spread of the disease can be found at siphidaho.org/coronavirus.php, coronavirus.idaho.gov, and cdc.gov.