May 5, 2021
STARKVILLE - Spring is the season for cleaning — and that also applies to the city’s water system.
Starkville Utilities recently launched a proactive flushing strategy using 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 our customers with safe, reliable and affordable utilities, including a high-quality water supply,” said Terry Kemp, general manager of Starkville Utilities. “Proactive water-system maintenance, including semiannual flushing, is part of our Renew Principle commitment to improve performance and enhance the quality of life in our community.”
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.
“Through proactive flushing and maintenance, we’re making sure customers have safe, clean and clear water that meets the highest quality standards,” said Jacob Forrestor, assistant general manager, Starkville Utilities. “We’re fortunate to have good groundwater resources in Starkville, and our water exceeds the Mississippi Department of Health’s requirements in terms of safety and quality.”
Starkville Utilities has flushed approximately two-thirds of the system and plans to complete the entire system the end of June. 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.
Flushing may 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.