Park City starts line flush, and water will be released across community |

Park City starts line flush, and water will be released across community

A Park City Public Utilities Department crew in 2017 flushes a water main along Lowell Avenue as part of an operation designed to clean the insides of the lines by sending water rushing through at high speeds.
Courtesy of Park City Public Utilities Department

The Park City Water Department on Wednesday started a flush of the system, an operation that sends water rushing through at high speeds as the crews attempt to clean the insides of the lines.

It is an annual operation but one that is highly visible as large amounts of water are released from the individual flush locations. Flushing is designed to remove manganese and iron, which are naturally occurring and settle on the insides. The process also removes minerals like calcium from the lines.

The first neighborhood was Park Meadows. The work is slated for Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. and is expected to last one month.

Clint McAffee, the public utilities director for City Hall, said water is sent through the lines in a single direction at a “high enough velocity” to remove the built-up iron and manganese.

“It scours the pipe,” McAffee said, explaining that valves are opened and closed at certain times and locations to send the water in one direction.

As part of the operation, the crews will open fire hydrants to allow the water to escape. The water bursts out of the hydrants during a flush, sometimes prompting questions from the public in a community where water conservation is stressed each summer.

“While it may appear that water is being wasted during this process, it is the most efficient way to clean the water main infrastructure,” City Hall said in a statement announcing the operation. “Flushing water from a hydrant at a high velocity removes any deposits or accumulated sediments from the interior of the pipe to ensure customers continue to receive the highest quality of water.”

The statement said water samples are taken as the pipes are flushed. The velocity of the water during a flush allows officials to test whether the flow levels are adequate for firefighting purposes, it said.

City Hall cautions there is the possibility of lowered water pressure as the lines are flushed. There is also the possibility of the operation resulting in discolored water. Officials recommend someone run a tap if it is outdoors or run the cold water of a faucet for five minutes to “ensure that the water service is free of any residual sediment or discolored water.”

The crews hope to minimize traffic disruptions or impacts to ponds or waterways, but City Hall says pooling of water is possible.

Contact the Park City Public Utilities Department at 615-5335 for more information.

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