PUC Services Inc. announced today that it will continue with the uni-directional flushing (UDF) program which is one of the most effective methods of removing loose sediment from the city’s water distribution system and supports the new Water Quality Improvement Project.
“It is of critical importance that the east end watermains be thoroughly flushed out before the new treatment processes are brought on-line at year-end” said Dominic Parrella, President of the PUC. “This is to minimize any potential for negative impacts on the new treatment processes due to sediment that has accumulated since the last flushing cycle nine months ago.”
The PUC had been requested by some members of City Council to delay the UDF program in the east end of Sault Ste. Marie for a few months because of ongoing discoloured water issues. After carefully considering the request it was determined that there was more potential for negative effects on the city’s water system than benefits from halting the program. “If we delay the flushing for even one month we will not be able to complete the entire east end of the city before winter and introduction of the new treatment processes may be compromised resulting in even more disruption to customers” said the PUC President. “Furthermore, if we stop the flushing, the situation will not improve. Ongoing operational activities that must be done under legislation, combined with unplanned system upsets, mean that discoloured water will continue to occur regardless of whether we stop the flushing or not.”
UDF, which is considered essential preventative maintenance, is one of the best practices in the water industry for removing loose sediment from cast iron and concrete water pipes under controlled conditions. Noticeable improvement in overall water quality has been observed following each past flushing cycle.
The UDF program supports the PUC’s Water Quality Improvement Project aimed at resolving the city’s discoloured water problems through the addition of advanced treatment processes to the city’s water system. The PUC expects a significant reduction in discoloured water events and substantial overall improvement in water quality by the end of the year.