Un­der pres­sure: Crews test­ing sta­tus of hy­drants

En­win Util­i­ties warns res­i­dents that flush­ing can cause water dis­col­oration

Windsor Star - - CITY + REGION - Dbattag­ello@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/dav­e­battag­ello

DAVE BATTAGELLO

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 info@en­win.com.

DAX MELMER

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.

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