April 13, 2022
STARKVILLE - As part of its ongoing commitment to assure the highest quality drinking water, Starkville Utilities is launching its spring hydrant flushing efforts.
The proactive flushing strategy uses fire hydrants to eliminate discoloration, or “brown” water, from service pipes. Plans call for repeating the process every spring and fall to maintain high levels of water clarity and quality for customers.
“Our mission is to provide customers with safe, clean and clear water that meets the highest standards,” said Sean Johnston, chief water operator for Starkville Utilities. “Through proactive flushing and maintenance, we are removing sediment that naturally accumulates in water pipes and ensuring that our water exceeds the Mississippi Department of Health’s requirements in terms of safety and quality.”
In older water systems, temporary discoloration is normal and not harmful to health. Over time, naturally occurring minerals such as iron build up inside of pipes and can cause water to appear brown. Opening hydrants accelerates water flow to scour deposits from pipe linings. Crews start in the center of the system and work their way out so that deposits are eventually flushed from dead-end lines and back into the environment.
Before it makes its way to customers, Starkville’s water supply has been filtered multiple times. Water is drawn from an aquifer deep below the ground’s surface where it has seeped through layers of rock, sand and gravel — a natural process that removes many impurities. Starkville Utilities performs additional filtration to “polish” the water before it enters the city’s system.
Starkville Utilities plans to complete the flushing project during the next three months. Crews will flush the system again in the September-October time frame. To notify customers, signage is posted in areas where flushing is taking place.
“We want to be responsible stewards of Starkville’s water system and ensure that our customers’ water supply is safe,” said Johnston. “Even though discolored water is a common and harmless side effect of hydrant pressure testing, we will minimize those instances as much as possible and help customers quickly resolve issues.”
Flushing may also cause a temporary drop in water pressure. Customers who experience longer periods of low pressure are urged to contact Starkville Utilities at 662-323-3133.
Starkville Utilities is a municipally owned and operated electric and water utility, serving more than 14,000 residences, businesses and industries in Starkville as well as the state’s largest institution of higher learning, Mississippi State University.