WINTHROP — Interim Town Manager Terence Delehanty wishes to alert residents that the Town is flushing fire hydrants as part of standard maintenance that helps keep water quality at the highest levels.
It is not uncommon during times of low water usage and high air temperatures for residual levels of chlorine in municipal water systems to drop off, which leaves water systems susceptible to detection of total coliform bacteria in bi-monthly water samples.
Generally, coliforms are bacteria that are not harmful and are naturally present in the environment, but because of the remote possibility that more harmful bacteria could be detected, total coliform in the system is continuously monitored. No harmful bacteria have been detected in the system and town water has remained safe to drink.
Like many other surrounding communities, Winthrop has recently experienced low chlorine residuals at multiple sample sites as a result of stagnant, or aged, water and higher water temperatures due to lower demand following extensive rains.
Flushing hydrants throughout town helps clear stagnant water and pull in new fresh water with higher chlorine residuals.
Any time hydrants are activated, tap water may become discolored as a result of iron buildup that is disturbed by high-pressure flow through underground pipes. The best way for residents to clear discolored water is to run high flow faucets, like bathtubs, for several minutes until the water clears.
“This is standard system maintenance that is occasionally needed to ensure the highest quality water for the residents of our community,” Delehanty said. “We want to share this information proactively so residents know why they may be experiencing discolored water.”