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To improve the quality of water to our customers and clean sediment from the water mains, the Regional Water Authority cleans 25 percent of the entire distribution system or approximately 500 miles of water main each year. The water main cleaning season begins in mid-March and ends in November. The program is suspended in the winter due to freezing temperatures.
Water main cleaning is an essential part of our system's maintenance program and helps maintain good water quality and improve the water flow through the main. The water mains are cleaned by operating valves in the street and opening hydrants, one section of main at a time, to force the water through the pipes at high velocity.
Cleaning water mains can cause a slight drop in water pressure and discolored water for a short time. We recommend that you check the condition of your water before doing any laundry of light-colored clothing. If your water is discolored, run the cold water in the tub for several minutes. As always, people with compromised immune systems should consult their physician before ingesting it. Please call us at 203-562-4020 if your water remains discolored or you have any questions.
Water main cleaning is also done in response to customer complaints. This type of cleaning is usually localized to one street or neighborhood to resolve a particular problem. Water main cleaning also provides an opportunity for Authority personnel to identify any potential problems in the distribution system that may need attention.