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You asked: Why is my water murky?

Q: The tap water in my home is discolored. Should I be concerned?

 

A: On Oct. 1, the Brookhaven Fire Department began to flush the city’s fire hydrants. This is a routine procedure that happens twice a year. According to Fire Chief Tony Weeks, it’s necessary to flush the hydrants because debris can get into the hydrants causing significant damage to their pumps. Debris can include gravel or even toys.

“Sometimes kids — if one of those caps are loose — they’ll drop stuff down in the fire hydrant,” Weeks said. “We’ve gotten tennis balls out of them before. You’d be surprised what comes out of them sometimes.”

The Fire Department will open the caps for each individual fire hydrant and let water flow from them for about 10 minutes, Weeks said. This can also cause sediment to discolor the water in the area.

“It’ll go away,” Weeks said. “There’s no hazard there. It’s nothing to get alarmed about.”

Weeks said here are between 700 and 800 hydrants in the city, and the process will continue until around the end of November.

Other things can also cause discoloration in the water. Residents of South Church Street have complained that their water had been discolored for months, well before the Fire Department began flushing the hydrants.

City Water Department Supervisor Kris Xifos said that issue was caused by sediment build-up at a dead-end line.

“Every single dead-end line has nowhere to go, and it just builds up,” Xifos said.

A blowoff valve has since been installed at the location to mitigate the issue. Xifos said anyone in Brookhaven who has issues or concerns related to discoloration in their water supply should call the city water department at 601-833-7721.