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News Release

St. Petersburg Launches Uni-Directional Flushing Program on Monday, February 13

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (February 10, 2017) –  In an effort to “clear the pipes” and maintain safe, clean delivery of water to customers in the city of St. Petersburg, the Water Resources Department will roll out a Unidirectional Flushing (UDF) Program on Monday, February 13, in the Isla Del Sol neighborhood.

UDF is a proven practice to clean and maintain potable water distribution pipes.  It is a systematic flushing technique that isolates portions of the distribution system to achieve water flow in one direction. Using hydraulic computer modeling, UDF “sequences” are designed to achieve high-velocities in the target pipes to scour mineral deposits, biofilm and sediments that accumulate over time.  These elements are simply “flushed” from the water mains through the high pressure process using clean water and are effectively removed from the distribution system.

The program will be rolled-out initially in the southern portion of the city’s water distribution system in order to gauge its effectiveness. Neighborhoods south of 54th Avenue South, as well as parts of Point Brittany, Isla Del Sol and Lakewood Terrace that are on city water will be affected. Private water systems and master-metered complexes will not be flushed as part of this program.  Residents will see crews in 41 flushing zones tapping fire hydrants to release the directed water between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.  In all, they will be utilizing 400 valves and 150 hydrants to flush the system. The entire six week operation is slated to start February 13 and run through the March.

Residents in the immediate vicinity of flushing may notice temporarily discolored water (caused by turbulence from the scrubbing process) and lower than normal water pressure. The discoloration does not pose a health risk. However, citizens should avoid using tap water or running the washing machine or dishwasher until flushing is complete.  While the water WILL be safe, it is recommended that users run the faucet for five to 10 minutes until the water appears clear.  If the water does not clear after this procedure, please call Water Resources at 727-893-7261. After the hydrant flushing, this portion of the water quality system maintenance will be complete. 

Neighborhoods which will be affected by the program will be alerted to nearby impending work with door hangers and street-side signage.  For more information, visit stpete.org/water/UDF  or contact Bill Logan, Public Works Communications Manager, at 727-893-7250 or bill.logan@stpete.org.

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