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Hydrant Flushing, Chlorine Change Could Temporarily Affect Taste, Color of Water

DALE CITY, Va. — Some drinking water in Prince William County may soon have a slight chlorine taste and odor in the drinking water.

Virginia American Water will begin flushing hydrants on Monday as part of its annual pipeline flushing program. The flushing gets out mineral deposits and sediment from water mains, and it will continue through the end of May.

The work is being done at the same time a routine change in the form of chlorine used to disinfect the water during the water treatment process will take place.

“Because of this treatment process change, customers might notice a slight chlorine taste and odor in their drinking water. Customers who are especially sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine should keep an open container of drinking water in their refrigerators. This will enable the chlorine to dissipate, reducing the chlorine taste,” said Virginia American Water spokeswoman Samantha Villegas.

The flushing of the hydrants will take place Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Crews will open fire hydrants and allow them to flow freely for a short time before replacing the cap. While customers could experience a slight drop in water pressure during the flushing, no one is expected to lose service due to the work.

If your water appears discolored during this time, Villegas provided some tips:

– Customers should let the cold water run to clear before using it again and refrain from doing laundry during that time.

– Before doing laundry, check for discolored water. If you have already started the laundry and clothes become stained, do not let the clothes dry. Instead, wash them again in clear water using a rust remover, which you can purchase at grocery stores. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

– If problems persist or customers have questions, call Virginia American Water’s toll-free, 24-hour customer service line at 800-452-6863.

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