7/17/2013 10:05:00 AM Hydrant, water flushing churns up Mayer residents' concerns
A comment made at the Mayer Water Improvement District meeting on July 11 has at least one resident concerned about the quality of his drinking water, and another resident expressed dismay with "wasted" water while flushing out fire hydrants.
The Mayer Fire Department cleans and flushes hydrants located within three different water districts once a year, said MFD Chief Glenn Brown. The testing is spread out over 12 months in conjunction with each of the districts.
"It is required, first to flush out any materials that get stopped up in the hydrant, and also to ensure that the hydrant is working properly," Brown said during a phone call Monday morning.
Resident Frank Soto said a Mayer resident asked the water district board why the district was wasting water flushing fire hydrants at a time when the users are on restricted use. Brown said his department coordinates with the water districts, and these particular hydrants' test dates happened to come up in July. He said if the water district wants to schedule a different time because of low water levels, he would work to do so.
"Frankly, there hasn't been a good time to do it. July isn't good, but neither was June or May," Brown said. "We do the job as quickly and easily as we can. The last thing in the world we want is a dry hydrant."
As to Soto's concerns about "contaminated" water used to flush the water mains, MWID Manager Casey Boone said the district pressure-checked one of its main lines using water from the well located on the office property. This well is one of two of the district's 12 wells not currently in use because of nitrate levels that exceed maximum contaminant levels.
"First, we disinfect the water with a solution of chlorine, then we take a bacteria test after 24 hours. If that comes back negative, we flush it out, put new water in, and then conduct the pressure test," Boone said.
ADEQ Communications Director Mark Shaffer said water from an unapproved source may not be used for line flushing.
"We are in the process of contacting the system operator to figure out precisely what happened, so our answers are very limited at this point," Shaffer said at the Big Bug's press time on Monday.
"We don't know what well(s) were used for flushing so we have no ability to comment to the question of safety."