Routine distribution system maintenance conducted annually

The City of Augusta Water Department will be conducting a free chlorine burn for disinfection of the water distribution system beginning July 5, 2017 and ending July 31, 2017. 
Flushing and chlorine burns are part of our routine distribution system maintenance conducted annually. Chlorine burns reduce the potential for occurrences of coliform and other types of bacteria in the system. During this free chlorine burn, the water disinfection process will be changed from chloramines to free chlorine which is a stronger and faster-acting disinfectant. The fire hydrants will be opened to allow flushing of the system to help remove sediment from the pipes and distribute the change in disinfectant.
Customers may notice open fire hydrants throughout the city during this period. At the end of the free burn, the standard chemicals used for disinfections will be reintroduced to the system and be returned to normal operating conditions.
* Possible Noticeable Effects:  It is important to understand that during this temporary change there may be some discoloration or cloudiness in the water and possibly a chlorine odor or taste.
If this is experienced, please run the water through the tap until it clears. Minor pressure fluctuations and small air pockets may also occur. Fire hydrant flushing should remove a majority of the color and odor, but some may reach customer lines during the process. Discoloration in laundry is also possible during this time. It is recommended that customers check for discolored water before adding clothes to their washing machine. If discolored water appears, customers can set their washing machine to spin cycle to purge the water, and then refill the machine with clear water. In addition, customers may wish to purchase and use a cleaning additive to help prevent or remove any discoloration that may occur.

* Is the Water Safe for Bathing, Drinking and to Cook With?  Yes, the water is safe for

bathing, drinking and utilizing for cooking throughout this process and boiling water for

consumption is not necessary. Customers may notice a change to the taste and smell from the

water and may want to let their water tap run for several minutes or until the water runs clear.

Any odor and color issues will subside as the flushing is completed. Customers who use tap water

for kidney dialysis at home should properly monitor their process for complete neutralization of

disinfectant residual and should contact their doctor for more information. Customers utilizing

the water for aquariums should monitor the chlorine residuals.

* Is the Water Safe for Pets?  Yes, the water is safe for your pets throughout this process and

boiling water for consumption is not necessary.

*  Why is this burn out necessary? The City routinely collects samples and monitors the water

quality. Our staff is tasked with ensuring that water in all points of the system is acceptable to our

customers. Over time minerals and metals, which are naturally present in water sources, can

increase and attach to pipes and release when there are changes in pressure, resulting in

discoloration, odor or affected taste. Other processes such as nitrification and the growth of

biofilm can also occur in water distribution pipes. The biofilm growth can cause a reduction in

the effectiveness of residual disinfectants over time. This free chlorine burn out will help cleanse

the lines, reduce the occurrence of nitrification and biofilm, and ensure that we provide quality

water for the citizens.


During business hours, residents may call Brandon Green, Water Superintendent at (316) 775-4549 or Jaime Goering, Director of Public Works at (316) 775-4510 with any questions concerning the free chlorine disinfection. After regular business hours, please contact the Water Treatment Facility at (316) 775-4549. The City of Augusta Water Department appreciates the patience and understanding of its residents as it works to further improve the quality of the water for all customers.