By Linda Dillman
The Canal Winchester Public Service Department is investigating residential complaints of brown, smelly water.
“This is a topic we’ve been talking about or some time,” said Public Service Director Matt Peoples. “We are starting our investigation into the addition of a chemical to address water quality issues discussed at the last service/safety committee meeting. Tests were conducted previously and we will be working with Brian Coghlan of Bird & Bull and a chemical manufacturer’s representative. We will be providing updates.”
According to Peoples, white spots on dishes, known as scaling, can occur. He said discolored and odorous water needs to be reported immediately to the water department. While hydrant flushing, currently scheduled through May 8, could temporarily impact water quality, discolored and/or smelly water at other times is not normal.
During or immediately after hydrant flushing, tap water may come out with sediment that causes discoloration. Although a slight discoloration may last for a few hours, it does not affect the taste or quality of the water. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water and poses no health threat.
The water department advises residents to avoid running tap water, a washing machine or a dishwasher if they see hydrant flushing crews in their area.
If discolored water is encountered, shut the water off and wait several minutes. Then check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes to allow the new water to flow into pipes. If the water is still discolored, wait a few more minutes and check again. In some cases, it may be a few hours before the water is completely clear.
Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing hours. After hydrants have been flushed, wait until water runs clear from the tap, then begin with a load of dark laundry before doing lights or whites. If water pressure or volume seems low, check faucet screens for trapped particles.
While the water division is working on a solution to water quality issues, Peoples said problems are intermittent.
“It is not widespread,” said Peoples, who also said a chemical fix is definitely not a cure all and one that comes with a cost. “It can help. It’s possible the addition of chemicals could make it worse before it gets better.”
Canal Winchester operates and maintains a two million-gallons per day ion-exchange water treatment facility and water distribution system that consists of more than 40 miles of water mains, three water towers and more than 2,600 service connections.
For information on the city’s fire hydrant flushing program, including when the city will be flushing in designated areas, contact the Division of Water at (614) 837-5623.