Green Bay Water Utility uses Uni-Directional flushing to scour water mains

By Terry Kovarik |

Published 05/05 2014 06:39PM

Updated 05/05 2014 06:53PM

GREEN BAY (WFRV) It's not uncommon to see Green Bay Water Utility crews flushing hydrants to remove sediment. But starting today, crews are using Uni-Directional flushing. The water is moved through the lines at a higher velocity in a form of controlled erosion.

"We're forcing the water out in one direction, which the water acts more like an SOS pad and actually the water itself scours the side of the water main," said Brain Powell, Engineering Services Manager, Green Bay Water Utility.

Uni-Directional flushing has been used successfully nation wide by other communities, including a few in Wisconsin. The process uses only water, no chemicals. By scouring the inside, water quality and water pressure are improved. The concept sits very well with some Astor Park neighborhood homeowners, where flushing started for the first time.

"This is an older neighborhood. So there's certainly sediment at times in our pipes. So if the water department feels this could be a good thing, I trust them and would like to see how it works," said Pastor Paul Schleis, First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

"Great Idea, actually. First of all it's good for the environment, that's a great thing. But trying anything new. I don't know if there's any cost reduction. But it' seems to be moving along," said Susan Obermiller, who lives on Quincy Street.

While safer, some homes and business should be advised of some minor impacts.

"If you have a fire suppression system, the pressure my go lower enough where it may give a false fire alarm,"said Powell.

The flushing may still cause some water discoloration... So residents should run their cold water for 5-to-10 minutes.
Those who find their white laundry has a bit of a reddish tint, can get free "Red Out" stain remover from the water utility.

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.

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