The city of Napa begins its annual fire hydrant flushing program today. This year’s program is expected to continue through April 2014 and will include hydrants in various locations throughout the city.
Unidirectional hydrant flushing is an essential, planned maintenance activity done to clean and flush water mains. When hydrants are opened in sequence, water moves at a faster than normal speed, lifting particles that have settled over time. Releasing these particles from the hydrants improves overall water quality.
The Water Division will post updates daily, along with flushing program maps and other information, at www.cityofnapa.org/water
Although affected customers will continue to have water service, flushing operations may activate low-pressure alarms on automatic fire sprinkler systems due to temporary reductions in pressure. Also, the flushing program may cause periods of discolored water and reduced water pressure in localized areas.
The discoloration is due to lifting of particles which have settled in the water main and are sometimes accidentally forced into connected water services. The water remains safe to use and generally clears within a few hours after flushing has been completed.
Residents should monitor their water prior to starting laundry and especially before washing white laundry. Commercial customers and restaurants should be aware of the water quality while flushing is taking place in their area.
Tablets are used to remove chlorine from the released water before it enters the storm drains. Due to the intense water flow, the tablets may cause the water to