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The Harford County Department of Public Works, Water and Sewer Division, will begin its biannual flushing of the water distribution system on Monday, April 10th. Flushing will take place between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. The project is expected to be completed on or about October 31st.
What is a Flushing Program?
Water main flushing is a routine maintenance operation that Harford County performs to our water distribution system. During this operation, water is forced through underground water mains at high speed and is flushed out of nearby fire hydrants to remove any accumulated sediment. Harford County maintains approximately 700 miles of water distribution pipelines and 4000 fire hydrants. Flushing is done one section at a time until the water runs clear.
Why is this Maintenance Operation Important?
As part of the Harford County Water & Sewer Division’s mission to provide reliable, high quality drinking water, a flushing program is used to remove any sediments that may affect taste, appearance, and odor. Flushing can also help protect the integrity of the pipe by using higher than normal water velocities that will scour the inside of the pipe and reduce corrosion. The Flushing Program also involves exercising valves and inspecting fire hydrants to ensure they are functioning properly.
When will the Flushing be Conducted?
The Flushing Program takes place every year during the months between April and October from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Schedules may change if something happens in the system that requires immediate attention or repair. During flushing operations, residents may hear water discharging with force from the hydrants and see water flowing in the streets. Drivers are asked to take extra care during this time so as to avoid hydroplaning and other hazardous conditions.
What will Happen in my Home or Business?
While the water main pipes close to your home or business are being flushed, you may experience temporary periods of low pressure. You may also see discolored water, which can be drawn into homes and businesses if the water is being used during or immediately following the flushing. This is a temporary condition and should only affect customers for a few hours at most. If discoloration occurs, open the cold water tap nearest to the water main, usually the front outside faucet, to full flow and run the water into your garden or lawn for a few minutes until it is clear. If the water does not clear the first time, wait a few minutes and run the water again. Also, it is important to not run hot water if you notice it is discolored, as the discolored water can be drawn into the hot water tank.
Is the Water Safe to Drink?
Yes. The temporary discoloration is caused by minerals and other fine particles, which are not harmful to your health and are found in every drinking water system.
Need Additional Information?
Please call our Water & Sewer Maintenance Section at 410-612-1612.
We thank the Harford County water service customers for their understanding and apologize for any inconvenience created by the flushing process.