Water mains cleaning

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Cowbeech residents have been told not to be alarmed if their water turns brown or they experience a drop in pressure this week.

The changes are harmless and due to work being carried out to clean water mains in the Cowbeech area to safeguard the quality of drinking water.

South East Water will carry out the programme from the week starting July 11 as part of ongoing maintenance on the company’s underground mains.

The procedure, known as flushing, involves directing pressurised water through the pipes so it scours the inside of the pipe. This is to remove naturally-occurring, harmless deposits which build up over time.

While these deposits – typically iron and manganese – are not harmful, they can temporarily turn the water brown.

South East Water’s distribution manager Mark Rice said, “Flushing our water mains from the start to finish of our network – from our service reservoirs, which store fully treated drinking water, to the point at which it supplies our customers – is a very effective way of cleaning the inside of our water mains.

“Once the water reaches its journey’s end, the flushed water containing these deposits is directed into the drains and back into the water cycle. We appreciate customers may have concerns about this water appearing to run to waste, but we only draw through our pipes as much as we need, and stop flushing once we can see the whole system is running crystal clear as usual.

“During the flushing process customers may notice a reduction in water pressure, and possibly some discolouration, but this is temporary and can be solved by running the kitchen tap until the water runs clear.”

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