Get Ready for Brown Water, South Orange — System Flushing Begins Oct 4

by The Village Green
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Correction: The SOFD originally announced that flushing would begin Oct. 2. However, water system flushing will be now begin on Oct 4, to avoid conflict with Jewish holidays — according to the Facebook page of Trustee Walter Clarke. 
Village Wide Water System Flushing – Beginning Sunday, October 4

Hydrant Flushing

In anticipation of and preparation for our January 1, 2016 transition to New Jersey American Water as the Village’s water supplier, and to cleanse the Village’s water system, a system wide “flushing” program will be undertaken this fall by the East Orange Water Commission (EOWC), the current operator of the system. Flushing will be scheduled for overnight hours to minimize the inconvenience to residents. The flushing is scheduled to begin this Sunday, October 4 from 9 p.m. through 4 a.m. the following morning. Flushing is currently scheduled for Sunday through Wednesday nights, always from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“Flushing” is a method of cleaning water mains through a systematic opening of fire hydrants to increase water flows with the water being discharged from the largest port on a fire hydrant. The importance of implementing this program will ensure the greatest quality of water throughout the entire system. This technique allows higher water flow velocities to produce better scouring of pipes. This process will dislodge and remove mineral deposits that have accumulated in the water mains.

The benefits include maintaining and potentially improving the water quality level in the mains. The flushing process will also reduce bacteriological growth, restore disinfection residuals, improve color and turbidity, control corrosion and can help restore flow and pressures in the distribution system. Additionally, this process confirms that hydrants are in working order and available water flow is sufficient for use in fire emergencies.

While flushing the system won’t interrupt your water service, when crews are working in your area, you may notice a temporary drop in water pressure or discolored water from the sediments stirred up in the lines. This is normal. If this happens, simply let your water run until it is clear.

Below are some tips to reduce any impacts to you from the flushing.

Customer Tips for Water System Flushing

• Avoid running your tap water and using the washing machine or dishwasher while crews are flushing in your area. (As noted, flushing will be scheduled for overnight hours. However, residual sediments may exist in the line the following morning.)

• If discolored water occurs, simply run the cold water on the lowest floor of your house for a few minutes until it clear. This will allow the sediment to work its way through your pipes.

• Check for discolored water before using the washing machine or dishwasher. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap before doing laundry or running the dishwasher. NOTE: If your laundry becomes stained, DO NOT PUT YOUR LAUNDRY IN THE DRYER. Rewash clothes immediately using detergent and add a rust remover. Most rust removers can also be used on stained fixtures.

• In some cases, slight discoloration might linger for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water and does not affect water quality. No health hazards are associated with discolored water from hydrant flushing.

• If water pressure or water volume seems low after flushing has been completed, check your faucet screens for trapped particles.

Residents with questions should contact the East Orange Water Commission at (973) 266-8869. Residents are encourage to check this site for the flushing schedule. Status updates will be posted as flushing activities progress from west to east through the Village’s water system. Please check this website daily for updates.

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