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WV American Releases Flushing Water Procedures For Approved Zones

Reported: Jan. 13, 2014 12:52 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 14, 2014 9:23 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- West Virginia American Water has released step-by-step procedures customers can use to flush their plumbing system.

Company officials stressed that customers should first consult the website to see if they are in the approved areas where the ban is being lifted before they start the process.

The water company said it was providing a map on its website with that has zones showing where the ban is being lifted. They can enter their home and business address to determine the status. Customers in the lifted areas will still need to flush their home plumbing systems.

The map can be found here. A temporary local 24/7 hotline has been established at 855-390-4569 for additional clarification.

To flush your system, the water company said do the following steps in the order set below:

** Flush all hot water taps for 15 minutes.

Begin the flushing procedure by opening the hot water taps in your bathroom or bathrooms. Open all hot water lavatory sink fixtures, hot water bath fixtures and any other hot water fixtures, such as kitchens, wet bars, etc. Run these hot water fixtures for at least 15 minutes. Shut water off after 15 minutes. After you have flushed each hot water faucet for 15 minutes, your hot water heater will be safe for use.

** Flush all cold water taps for five minutes.

Once the hot water tank and hot water piping have been flushed, open all of the cold water fixtures, flush each toilet for at least one time. Run these cold water fixtures for at least five minutes. Shut water off after five minutes. This does include the water in your refrigerator water dispenser.

** Flush all remaining faucets and appliances.

(Before starting step three, please see How To Flush Plumbing Appliances and Faucets for more information). Open any remaining fixtures such as hose bibs, external faucets or fixtures not used for drinking for at least five minutes to finish the plumbing system flushing. Take additional steps to remove water from other appliances. See How to Flush Plumbing Appliances and Faucets for more information. This includes:

Ice makers
Dishwashers
Washing machines
Humidifiers
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Oral, medical or health care devices
Baby formula, food and drinks made with water during Do NOT USE
Water filters
Water softeners
Reverse osmosis units

Any lingering smell, which is expected is not a health issue.

Once you have flushed your hot and cold water faucets, be sure to take these additional steps to flush plumbing appliances. To protect the health and safety of our communities, we recommend that you read carefully and follow the steps for flushing:

** Ice Makers: If you have an ice maker in your refrigerator, first throw away all ice and then:

If you have a filter on your ice maker: Some refrigerators, which have ice makers, also have filters on the small water line that feed the ice maker. If you have or use filters on your ice maker, you want to replace the filter AFTER flushing your refrigerator's ice maker. These filters require routine replacement. This would be a good time to replace the filter to ensure that the water line to the ice maker is completely flushed. Some refrigerators also provide filtered cold water. Check to make sure that you have replaced any filter AFTER flushing that is associated with the cold water supply. Then flush cold water dispenser for five minutes.

** After flushing all of the other plumbing, let the ice maker container fill up completely and discard this ice and clean the container before replacing. If you have more than one refrigerator, make sure you perform the same procedure on those units as well.

** Dishwashers and washing machines: Dishes and clothes that were washed during the DO NOT USE order should be rewashed. After flushing hot water pipes and water heater, run dishwasher and washing machine empty one time.

** Humidifiers, CPAP and other devices: Throw away any water used in humidifiers, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), oral, medical or health care devices, and rinse the device with clean water.

** Baby formula, food or drinks made with water during the DO NOT USE:
Be sure you have thrown away any baby formula or other foods prepared with water on the days of the DO NOT USE. This includes drinks like Gatorade made with power or concentrate.

** Water filters: Clean or change your water filter, or contact the filter manufacturer for more details.

** Water supplies for pets: Pets need clean water, too. Be sure to empty all water bowls, bottles, or other water supplies for your pet. After flushing your water system, wash the pet bowl, bottle or other water supply. Then refill with tap water.

** Point of entry/point of use devices (this may not apply to all customers): If you have a Point of Entry water treatment system such as a water softener or filter, which all of the home's water passes through before it enters the main plumbing system, you should consider the following general guidelines before completing your house plumbing flushing:

** Water softeners: Household water softener, which used a natural or synthetic resin material to exchange sodium for calcium and magnesium present in the water, should be manually regenerated before flushing your plumbing system. This will ensure that the softener resin has been backwashed and cleaned before flushing procedures begin. If you are unsure of how to manually initiate a regeneration cycle, refer to your softener owner's manual or call your equipment supplier for assistance.

** Sediment Filters: Household water filters usually fall in two basic categories:
Pressure filters, which can be backwashed to clean
Cartridge filters, which have replaceable element or cartridge

If your home has a pressure filter that can be backwashed, you should initiate a manual backwash of the filter before proceeding with, and after completing, the flushing procedures. If you have a whole house cartridge filter system, you should replace the cartridges after completing the flushing procedures.

** Point of use filters/treatment: If you have or use Point of Use filters, which are typically attached to your kitchen faucet. you should replace the filter before using the faucet-connected unit. These filters require periodic replacement anyway so this would be a good time to do this.

** Reverse Osmosis: Reverse Osmosis drinking water treatment systems often have pre-filters, which you may want to replace before flushing the RO System. However, the actual Reverse Osmosis membrane module should not require replacement. If the manufacturer of the membrane suggests that you replace this part of the system, you should ask them to give you the specific reasons why.

For more information, contact the 24-hour Customer Service Center at 1-800-685-8660 or logon here.



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