Riviera Utilities will conduct routine flushing of the water distribution system beginning on Monday, February 18, 2019. Flushing activities are expected to continue through the end of May. Riviera will typically perform flushing between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Riviera’s Flushing Program is intended to maintain fresh and clear water throughout the system with minimal disruption to our customers.
Flushing can create a temporary reduction in pressure and temporary discoloration of water in the flushing area. Riviera urges customers to check for water discoloration prior to laundering items susceptible to damage by discoloration. Riviera recommends customers avoid laundering during the flushing period. Opening and running multiple cold water faucets until the water runs clear will remedy the discoloration of water.
Specific dates, times, and flushing locations are not available. However, periodic updates on the general location of flushing crews can be found here. 2019 Hydrant Flushing Map (Only viewable in when using Google Chrome browser. Click on the colored areas to see when flushing is happening in that area.)
Also, please visit our website for more information on flushing and the benefits to our water distribution system.
If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding the Water Distribution System Flushing Program, please call (251) 943-5001 and ask to speak with a Water Department representative.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why does the water system need to be routinely flushed?
Riviera Utilities’ water distribution system is a complex network of pipes and storage reservoirs where sediment or deposits may naturally accumulate over time. If not removed, these materials may cause water quality deterioration, taste and odor problems, or discoloration of the water. Water may also stagnate in lesser used parts of the distribution system. This can result in degraded water quality.
When does flushing normally occur?
Normally, flushing takes place for approximately a three-month period in late winter and early spring (February through April) during a time of generally lower water demand.
What should I do when I see Riviera Utilities’ crews flushing hydrants in my area?
If you see Riviera Utilities’ personnel flushing hydrants, PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY and watch for workers in or near the roadway. In addition, the roads will be wet and the water may pond in low-lying areas for a short period of time. Inside your home, avoid turning on any faucets or fixtures while crews are flushing the hydrants. This may draw discolored water into your home piping. In particular, avoid washing clothes during the flushing operation. Discolored water may be drawn into the washer and potentially stain clothing.
How will this affect my water?
During the actual flushing process, water customers may experience some disturbance in their usual water service such as a short-term decrease in water pressure or discolored water. Although the water does not pose a health risk, it is recommended to avoid drinking the water until it runs clear from the tap.
• Do not prepare baby food or formula if the water is discolored. Use bottled water or pre-prepared food and formula. You can also boil the water for 5 minutes to ensure safety.
• Do not wash clothes if the water is discolored.
• It is okay to use the water for showering, bathing, and toilet flushing.
What should I do after the flushing?
If you use tap water during or immediately after flushing, it could come out with sediment or be discolored. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water off and wait approximately ten minutes. After ten minutes, open several cold water faucets in your home allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. Leave the faucets running for several minutes until the discoloration is gone and the water runs clear. In some infrequent cases, customers may experience slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality. Lastly, avoid washing laundry until the water is clear from the tap. Wash a load of dark clothes first.
What should I do if my water pressure or volume seems low after flushing?
Check your faucet and washer screens for trapped debris.
Why does the water look funny after hydrant flushing?
When a hydrant is opened, there will always be temporary incidences of discolored water containing fine sediment particles making the water appear brown or rust-colored. In addition, fine air bubbles may be introduced into the water giving it a milky appearance. There is no health hazard associated with discolored water. Allow a few hours for discoloration to dissipate. To verify the water has settled, allow your cold water tap to run a few minutes. If the discoloration persists for more six (6) hours, please contact Riviera Utilities at (251) 943-5001 and ask to speak to a Water Department representative.
Is it OK to drink sediment-laden or discolored water during temporary disturbance events?
We recommend water users wait until the water has cleared before using it for potable purposes or for washing clothes.
What is the sediment in the water system and how does it get there?
Water naturally contains minerals which react with the inside of the pipe to produce the by-product. This chemical reaction between the pipe and water is a normal and natural process. This process can occur on the inside of the pipe and prevent an adequate volume of water flow. The flushing process removes much of this by-product.
What takes place during hydrant flushing?
Riviera Utilities employs a unidirectional flushing program whereby water is flushed from larger mains first, before moving to smaller water mains. System valves are opened and closed during the operation to control the direction of the water flow. Because Riviera Utilities’ water mains are designed to handle fire flow (which is much greater than domestic or commercial water flow), the velocity of flow in most mains is fairly low.
Due to this, solids may settle on the bottom of the pipes. The problem may be more significant where there are dead-end pipes or areas of low water use. Over time, these deposits reduce the “carrying capacity” of the pipe. They can also be a source of color, odor, and taste problems in the water if the deposits are stirred up by increases in the flow. Flushing the pipes at high velocities will normally remove most of the settled substances and discolored or stale water.
During the flushing process, a Water Distribution operator opens each hydrant to its maximum flow. This high flow stirs up iron deposits and settlements and removes them from the system. The operator also records the pressure and flow of water at each hydrant, as well as cleans and lubricates accessible operating parts. Any deficiencies in the hydrant are noted and placed on a schedule for repair. The flow and pressure data is shared with the local fire department.
Doesn’t the hydrant flushing program waste water?
While it may appear wasteful, flushing is the most effective way to keep our drinking water safe, clean and pleasant tasting. Crews conducting the flushing keep careful records of the amount of water that is flushed through the lines. Therefore, this water is accounted for and tracked along with other uses of water.
How can I find out when hydrant flushing will be performed in my area?
Visit Riviera Utilities’ website (www.rivierautilities.com), Facebook page or Twitter feed for the most up-to-date information regarding the areas where our flushing crews will be working. Also, watch for Riviera Utilities’ vehicles with “hydrant flushing area” signs in your neighborhood.
Where can I get more information about hydrant flushing?
You may contact our main office at (251) 943-5001 during normal business hours and ask to speak with a Water Department representative.