Annual water system flushing beginning in Fayette, Clark, Scott, other counties

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – Kentucky American Water will soon conduct its annual water system flushing program, which involves crews opening selected fire hydrants throughout the water distribution system and letting them flow for several minutes.

Before, during, and, for a short period of time after the hydrant flushing program, the company’s three water treatment plants will temporarily change the disinfectant used in the treatment process from chloramine to chlorine.

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These activities are essential maintenance activities that assist in providing excellent
quality water to customers.

Chloramine and chlorine are common disinfectants used in the water treatment process to remove microbial contaminants like bacteria and viruses from water. Chloramine is a water
disinfectant that is formed when ammonia is added in combination with chlorine.

The temporary treatment process switch will involve turning off the ammonia feed in the water treatment plants.

This is a common practice for water systems that normally use chloramine throughout the year.

The amount of chlorine in the water will remain the same, but customers may notice a stronger taste or smell of chlorine in the water. This poses no health risk and the water remains safe to drink.

“We are proud of the excellent quality water we deliver around the clock to our customers,” said Dave Farrar, vice president of operations. “In addition to conducting proper infrastructure renewal, essential maintenance activities such as our hydrant flushing program and temporary change in disinfectant at our treatment facilities are key to providing our customers with high quality drinking water. In fact, our collective efforts throughout the year have consistently resulted in the quality of our tap water earning prestigious recognition from the national Partnership for Safe Water.”

During the flushing activity, company employees will open selected fire hydrants in a
coordinated fashion so that water can flow through the water mains and out of the hydrants for several minutes.

As employees conduct this work they will adhere to recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control regarding social distancing. The company asks customers to not approach employees as they work.

Crews will de-chlorinate the water as it leaves hydrants in order to remove the disinfecting agent in the water – chlorine – so that any water that enters streams is not harmful to aquatic life.

Dialysis centers, medical facilities and aquatic pet owners should take precautions during the temporary switch from chloramine to chlorine. Most methods for removing chloramine from tap water are also effective for removing chlorine, but confirming that a method is effective for both is recommended.

To reduce a heightened smell or taste of chlorine in tap water, refrigerate cold tap water in an open pitcher. Within a few hours the chlorine taste or smell will disappear.

It’s possible that customers may experience a slight discoloration of their water when crews are working in their areas. Should a customer notice discolored water coming from the tap, they should simply run their cold water faucet – not hot water – until the water clears.

The water remains safe to consume, but customers may want to avoid such activities as washing clothes when crews are flushing in their areas, since there is potential for discolored water that could stain clothing.

Flushing will occur over several weeks according to the following schedule unless operational adjustments are needed:
 Clark County
May 17 through May 28
Daytime hours
 Fayette County
April 26 through May 14
Nighttime hours
 North Middletown
May 17 through May 28
Daytime hours
 Owen County (and Glencoe, Wheatley, Sparta)
April 26 through May 14
Daytime hours
 Scott County
May 10 through May 21
Daytime hours

An online map is available for customers to determine when crews will be flushing in their
respective areas: www.tinyurl.com/kawcflush. Customers with questions about the flushing
program may also contact Customer Service at 1-800-678-6301.

Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately half a million people.