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Posted on: February 23, 2021

Temporary Change in Your Water's Disinfectant and Annual Flushing

Hydrant Flushing

Beginning March 15, 2021 and continuing through May 31, 2021, Stafford County will begin a system-wide flush to ensure a high level of disinfection of all County water mains.

Once every two years, the County takes extra steps to maintain the 711 miles of water mains in the distribution system through a deep cleaning process called “free chlorination.” During this process, Stafford County will temporarily distribute “free chlorine” in place of combined chlorines throughout the water distribution system. The process of free chlorination helps to remove any bacteria inside the distribution system as well as prevent bacteria from forming a resistance to the routine disinfection treatment process.

The free chlorination process does not adversely affect the water quality, but some people may notice a slight change in the taste and smell of their tap water. If you store water in an open pitcher in your refrigerator, the chlorine will naturally dissipate. This flushing process may also affect owners/operators of fish tanks, laundromats and other water-dependent operations.  While the system-wide flush will continue through May 31, 2021, Stafford County will return to using combined chlorine on April 16, 2021.  

When crews are flushing in your neighborhood, you may notice an open fire hydrant. Opening fire hydrants helps draw the chlorine through the distribution system. The flushing also allows any sediments or minerals that have collected in the water mains to be washed out.

If you want additional information about this program or want to view a map to see when crews will be flushing in your area, please visit:

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