At long last, the hydrants will be flushed.
Water drinkers in certain areas of the city may detect a slight chlorine taste and odor in their drinking water April 13 through May 31 as Virginia American Water plans to conduct hydrant flushing.
The routine work is being done as part of an annual main flushing program that improves customer water service by flushing or cleaning mineral deposits and sediment from water mains, said Jessica Greathouse, external affairs manager for Virginia America Water.
“Because of the treatment process change, customers may notice a slight chlorine taste and odor in their drinking water,” Greathouse said. “Customers who are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine should keep an open container of drinking water in their refrigerators. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, reducing the chlorine taste.”
While no interruptions in water service will occur as a result of the work, Virginia American Water advises that when crews are flushing nearby, customers may experience a drop in water pressure or some discoloration of their water.
The project will be conducted Sunday evenings through Friday mornings between 8:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. During the project, crews will open the fire hydrants and allow them to flow freely for a short period of time.
The process is required, Greathouse said, to manage a routine change in the form of chlorine used in the treatment process by Fairfax Water, Virginia American Waters bulk water supplier. Fairfax Water will be implementing the change through June 30.
Virginia American Water is contacting dialysis centers in Alexandria to inform them of the change in treatment process. The switch in chlorine will not affect kidney dialysis procedures and most centers already have procedures to remove free chlorine, she added.
Greathouse advised that if water is discolored, customers should let their cold water run to clear before using it again and refrain from doing laundry during that time.
If problems persist or customers have questions, notify Virginia American Waters customer service line toll-free 24 hours a day, at 800-452-6863.