Monroe implementing new water flushing system designed to conserve water

NO-DES trucks used to clean water mains.
NO-DES trucks used to clean water mains.(City of Monroe)
Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 4:03 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The City of Monroe says it is implementing a new water flushing system that is designed to conserve water.

Flushing the water system is done to keep water safe to drink and typically requires the release of water from hydrants for some time, spilling vast amounts of water onto the ground. This new system, described in more detail below, is designed to clean water mains without wasting all that water.

The flushing is scheduled to take place Tuesday, July 7, through Friday, July 10, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Crews will set out signs notifying residents when flushing operations are taking place, the City says.

The City also provided the following information about the new system, which is called the Neutral Output Discharge Elimination System (NO-DES.)

About NO-DES

The NO-DES method is simple: the truck unit is parked between two fire hydrants with hoses connected from each hydrant back to the NO-DES unit, which results in a temporary loop being created in the water distribution system. A pump on the NO-DES unit then circulates water through that loop at a velocity fast enough to scour the inside of the water main. This water is filtered through the NO-DES unit (filtered down to one-micron absolute - approximately 100 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.), which removes the sediment and biofilm that has been intentionally stirred up.

Residents can still use water normally throughout the flushing process. However, there may be small pressure fluctuations or minor aesthetic effects like cloudy or discolored water. This is not dangerous; running a faucet outside of the house or running cold water inside the house for a few minutes should resolve the problem. Please refrain from doing laundry during this period. Residents who experience continued water quality problems should call the Water Distribution Department at 318-329-2385.

If your clothes have become stained as a result of using water during a flushing operation, please keep them wet. You can call Monroe Water Distribution at 318-329-2386 to receive a cleaning agent to remove the stain at no charge.

Purpose of Water Quality Flushing

The City of Monroe Water System flushes water lines in order to:

  • Maintain water quality - The disinfectant chloramine becomes less effective as water collects at dead end lines and becomes old. The City must therefore flush hydrants in areas where there is low water demand.
  • Clean water mains - Over time, small particles of rust and clay build up inside the City’s main water pipes and can harbor colonies of bacteria that may harm water quality. Water quality staff use unidirectional flushing to pull water at a high velocity from a specific point in the system to a discharge point. The rapid movement of water scours the insides of the pipes. Often, the water will appear brown as it flows from the hydrant but clears up after some time. Over the years, City of Monroe has greatly reduced the amount of water used in these unidirectional flushing procedures by regularly maintaining the pipes.

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