Kentucky American Water to Start Annual Spring Cleaning
Water main flushing and temporary water treatment change to begin later this month
LEXINGTON, Ky., (April 11, 2022) – Kentucky American Water will soon perform the annual flushing of its water distribution system to support the continued provision of high-quality, reliable water service to customers.
“Flushing the water lines in our system assists in helping to clear any buildup of natural mineral deposits and sediment inside the pipes,” said David Farrar, vice president of operations for Kentucky American Water. “During these procedures, our team also flushes our hydrants to confirm they are operational and to assess fire flows in the system.”
During the flushing process crews open strategically located hydrants throughout the water distribution system to let water flow at a high velocity through pipes for several minutes to remove natural sediment. 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.
Before the hydrant flushing program begins, the company’s three water treatment plants temporarily change the disinfectant used in the treatment process from chloramine to chlorine. The plants resume using chloramine a short time after the hydrant flushing program is complete.
Treatment plants will temporarily switch disinfectant from chloramine to chlorine on Thursday, April 21. Chloramine disinfection will resume on Tuesday, May 24.
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 change in the treatment process will involve turning off the ammonia feed in the water treatment plants. This is a common practice during flushing programs 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,” Farrar said. “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.”
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 until the water clears. 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 estimated schedule unless operational adjustments are needed:
Bourbon County: May 2 through 4 (rural areas) Nighttime hours
North Middletown: May 16 through May 27 Daytime hours Millersburg’s flushing has already been completed this year
Clark County: May 16 through May 27 Daytime hours
Fayette County: April 25 through May 13 Nighttime hours
Gallatin and Grant Counties: April 25 through May 13 Daytime hours No treatment change will occur for Glencoe and Wheatley customers
Owen County: April 25 through May 13 Daytime hours
Rockcastle County: April 19 through April 23 Daytime hours No treatment change will occur for these customers
Scott County: May 9 through May 20 Daytime hours
Woodford County: May 11 through May 13 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 (NYSE: AWK), 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. Visit www.kentuckyamwater.com and follow Kentucky American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. About American Water With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE:AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to an estimated 14 million people in 25 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.