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Many of you may have noticed frequent flushing of fire hydrants in our community. Most water systems experience problems with slow moving water or stagnant water in their water distribution systems.
Distribution lines can accumulate all sorts of things that cause discolored water, taste and odor, or even hydraulic problems. To keep these situations from becoming troublesome, distribution lines need to be flushed on a regular basis. A necessary evil that becomes even more important during the hot summer months.
As outside temperatures increase, so does the temperature of the water in our distribution system. The lack of precipitation the past few months has severely reduced the flow of the City’s water source, the Llano River. The low river levels coupled with excessive heat has created higher than normal raw water temperatures ranging from 85-90 degrees. Unfortunately, the summer sun continues to heat our water supply as it is processed at the Water Treatment Plant, then passes through a series of storage tanks and towers before it is distributed to customers.
Water Department personal take daily distribution samples to monitor chlorine disinfectant levels and water temperatures. These distribution samples are currently averaging 85 degrees. Higher temperatures contribute to bacteria growth in the water, in turn, reducing disinfectant levels in some areas of the system. Flushing hydrants will allow fresh water, with higher levels of disinfectant, to replace the older water in the mains.
With current water use restrictions, most citizens are curious as to why The City continues to “waste” water in such a manner. Fortunately, on an average basis, flushing constitutes less than 1% of the total amount of water that is treated and distributed. A small price to help ensure a safe and healthy water supply.
Each day brings us all closer to cooler temperatures. Let’s all maintain a positive attitude, continue to pray for rain, and stay hydrated!