People in Pierre will soon have a new water source, but first the City needs to clean out the pipes.
The pipe cleaning process will start next Tuesday. That’s when the City’s Water Department will start pushing water through the city’s existing water distribution lines. The team will use water pressure to remove any material that has collected in the pipes. The entire process is expected to take several weeks.
“It’s hard to work with water when the temperatures are freezing,” said Brad Palmer, Utilities Director. “We all know South Dakota can serve up some long winters; to keep the project on schedule, we want to get the pipes flushed before the cold really sets in.
The flushing will start in the northern portion of the community and work its way south through a total of six zones. The city will use a rolling schedule.
“The rolling schedule map is located on the city website, and people can register with alertsense to receive a personal notification when activity is happening in their neighborhood,” said Palmer.
For a personal notification, people should visit public.alertsense.com and register with a physical address. The registered address will be used to identify and notify people via email or text when flushing has started in their area.
The flushing process can cause temporary water discoloration. Despite any temporary color change, the water can be used for drinking and bathing. To clear discolored water, run cold water, preferably from an outside spigot, until the water color returns to normal. Consider waiting to use home filtering systems, water softeners, dishwashers or washing machines until the water runs clear. Pressure variations during the flushing process may cause some fire suppression systems to alarm. No loss of water service is expected.
According to Palmer, the city will do a secondary flush of the pipes at a later date.
“We’re cleaning the pipes now to get rid of build-up. As we get closer to distributing water from the new treatment facility, we’ll flush all the well water out of lines to make way for the new water.”
The treated water is the result of a 2018 public vote when Pierre residents decided the city should build a drinking water treatment facility. Surface water from the Missouri River will be treated at the new facility and replace the underground aquifer currently used as Pierre’s water source. The new water is expected to start flowing next summer.