Under pressure: Crews testing status of hydrants
Enwin Utilities warns residents that flushing can cause water discoloration
Enwin Utilities is flushing its water system and the public utility company is warning customers to take precautions if the water coming out of their taps doesn’t look right.
Windsor customers are being told by Enwin they may see “mild colouring and sedimentation” in their water when the flushing occurs.
“What we are doing is flow-testing for fire hydrant load purposes,” said Justin Pulleyblank, supervisor of water distribution for Enwin.
Fire hydrants across the city are being coded and labelled for pressure, so when firefighters arrive, they know what they are dealing with at each hydrant, he said.
“Most have excellent fire flows,” Pulleyblank said.
The testing is required due to recent water-main replacement, new infrastructure and water lines that have been added across the city that has caused a shift in water flow in the system, he said.
But as hydrant testing and flushing occurs there is potential for a “reverse flow” in the system that can create “some rusty water” or discoloration to back up into nearby homes, Pulleyblank said.
He said residents who see such issues do not face any health risks. The water should clear up quickly by running a cold water tap for several minutes.
“As far as health effects, there is no adverse water quality, but esthetics might be compromised,” Pulleyblank said.
Any homeowner who continues to see discoloured water should call Enwin at 519-255-2727, he said. Older areas of the city, where cast iron water pipes are in place, are more likely to experience issues.
Mayor Drew Dilkens, a member of the Windsor Utilities Commission that oversees the water system, described it Friday as a “routine” flush of the system.
“It helps us improve the water quality by changing the water in the pipeline and moving some of the sediment,” he said.
“The process also helps us determine if there are any deficiencies, such as closed valves or excessive corrosion in the pipeline.”
Enwin officials will do their best to keep the company’s website updated so residents are aware when each neighbourhood is poised to undergo the system flushing and hydrant testing, Dilkens said.
But the utility company is also encouraging homeowners to take several other precautions.
They include filling containers with water prior to work commencing in their neighbourhood if concerned, and avoiding doing laundry on the day that flushing occurs as clothes could be stained. Officials also suggest not running hot water taps during the flushing process because the discoloured water and sediment could then be drawn into the hot water heater.
If anyone experiences stained clothes from the hydrant testing, they should also call Enwin, Pulleyblank said.
A subcontractor, Troy Life and Fire System, has been retained by Enwin to conduct the fire hydrant water-pressure testing.
Residents can look for the company’s trucks in their neighbourhood to learn when testing occurs or can also follow Enwin Utilities on Twitter for location updates.
On Friday, the company was working south of Cabana Road in the area of Roseland Golf Club, Pulleyblank said.
“From there, they will be moving north and to the west for the duration of the summer,” he said.
The hydrant water testing is expected to take a couple of years to fully complete. It will continue until October this year.
Anyone with questions about the operations can also contact Enwin online at email@example.com.
Workers with Troy Fire and Safety remove water from fire hydrants on Roseland Drive South on Friday as part of a citywide flushing of the water system. The operation, conducted on behalf of Enwin Utilities, is testing fire hydrant water pressure, due to recent water-main replacements.