Hydrant flushing may affect city water

Beginning today, Grand Junction water customers may notice discolored drinking water, low-water pressure or standing water in city streets.

Each likely will be attributable to the city of Grand Junction’s annual hydrant flushing program, which begins at 7:30 a.m. today on Orchard Mesa and is scheduled to last two weeks, wrapping up at 29 Road and Orchard Avenue.

The flushing should conclude at 4 p.m. on every day it is scheduled, according to a news release from the city.

If discolored water comes out of a faucet, let the water run for several minutes to clear the service line, city officials said.

“During this period of time, we will make every effort possible to serve our customers with the least amount of disruption to service as possible,” said Ron Key, city water services supervisor.

The city’s hydrant flushing program began after a bacterial biofilm was found in the water system in 1993, and the Mesa County Health Department ordered all city water users to boil their water. No trace of the biofilm has been found since the hydrant flushing system was begun shortly after the 1993 discovery, the news release said.

The flushing program was implemented to keep water in the distribution system fresh and eliminate conditions favorable for bacterial growth.

Nearly three million gallons of water is expected to be flushed out during the program, which is about what city water customers use daily during the winter or one-third of what they would use on a summer day, Key said.

Therefore, Key does not expect the hydrant flush to affect the overall water supply in Grand Junction, particularly since the snowpack is average and the reservoirs already are full, he added.

Questions regarding the flushing program should be directed to Key at 244-1572.


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