What is the Annual Water Main Flushing Program?

Annually in the Spring (mid-March), a slight change will be made in the water treatment process to facilitate an effective flushing program. The purpose of this temporary change in the process is to help ensure a high level of disinfection in our community’s network of water mains.

During this period, customers may notice a slight chlorine taste and smell in their tap water. The difference in taste and smell is the result of a switch to disinfection using free chlorine, which is a more aggressive disinfectant than the chloramines used during the rest of the year. This temporary change in the water treatment process is important because it keeps bacteria from forming resistances to the usual disinfection process. 

From March through May, our crews will open hydrants throughout our service area in brief intervals in order to draw water more forcefully through the distribution system. This helps to dislodge sediment that may have collected in water mains over the past year. Crews will work each day, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), from 7:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

Customers are notified about the flushing program via bill insert and notices are posted in the local newspaper, The Free Lance Star.

To learn more about the Water Main Flushing Program, please view the Annual Water Main Flushing Program (LINK).  

Show All Answers

1. What is the Annual Water Main Flushing Program?
2. When will crews be in my area?
3. What is the change in the disinfection process during the flushing period?
4. What are chloramines?
5. What is free chlorine?
6. Why is the water that Utilities distributes to customers disinfected with free chlorine instead of chloramines each Spring?
7. How long will free chlorine be used to disinfect my drinking water this year?
8. Is water disinfected with either free chlorine or chloramines safe to consume?
9. Could water disinfected with either free chlorine or chloramines be harmful to dialysis patients if it is used in the dialysis process?
10. Will my water taste different during the temporary conversion to free chlorine?
11. Will chloramines affect household plumbing, pipes and/or water heaters?
12. How can I remove the chlorine taste from my water?
13. Will pool owners need to treat water differently?
14. What does the term hydrant flushing mean?
15. Could I see a drop in water pressure due to hydrant flushing in my area?
16. Can hydrant flushing in my area cause cloudiness or sediment in my water?
17. How can I get more information about Spotsylvania County Utilities water quality?