City flushing fire hydrants

ELLSWORTH — Don’t be alarmed if the water coming out of your tap in the coming days is a yellow or rusty brown — it’s the result of the city’s biannual hydrant flushing that began Sept. 30 and is scheduled through Oct. 11.

“We’re hoping to get most of it done this week,” said Public Works Director Lisa Sekulich, “but we scheduled it over the next couple of weeks in case we need it.”

The city flushes the mains every spring and fall, starting at one end of town and “picking away at them,” said Sekulich. “We’ve already done a lot of the Surry Road, Bucksport Road stuff already.”

Flushing is typical maintenance for lines in any town, city or home, especially for older pipes, which accumulate rust and sediment as the water sits in them.

By opening the hydrants and allowing the water to flow through at full pressure, said Sekulich, not only are city staff ensuring the hydrants work properly, they’re also cleaning out all of the iron that’s built up.

Staff have several hundred hydrants to flush throughout the city, said Sekulich. During that time, if the water coming out of your tap is a funny color or has low flow or pressure, run cold water from the lowest faucet in your house until the water runs clear (which could take several minutes). Then run cold water from the remaining fixtures until they’re clear as well.

If the water doesn’t run clear after several minutes and you’re still having problems with it several hours later, call the Ellsworth Water Department at 667-8632.

Kate Cough

Kate Cough

Kate covers the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. She lives in Bar Harbor and welcomes story tips and ideas. She can be reached at [email protected]

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