Due to low stream flow in the Concord River the DEP is requiring the Sudbury Water District to enter into mandatory water use restrictions. No non-essential outdoor use is allowed between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Vegetable gardens and newly planted lawns are permitted to be watered at anytime.

You will be notified of any changes.

Why Continue to flush water mains even during a period of restriction?

Water main flushing is necessary to preserve water quality in the distribution system. Our goal is to flush all mains in our system each year. We cannot flush in the winter, because water that is flushed from hydrants could form ice and make driving and walking dangerous. We cannot flush in the midst of high demands periods, because that would be a burden on our system and leave us with no available flow for fire emergencies. That leaves us with a window of time in the spring and the fall, and occasional periods in the summer.

Every water system will gradually accumulate sediments in the water mains, and those sediments lead to reduced quality of water. When there’s a high localized demand and therefore higher than normal flows in the main, sediments are scoured into the flow of the water, creating discoloration. Furthermore, the sediments in the system, even when not stirred up, will react with chlorine, causing a reduction in chlorine at the points farthest from the dosing point. To counter that and provide sufficient disinfectant throughout the system, a higher dose of chlorine would have to be used, which can cause objectionable taste to the water for those who live closest to the dosing point and cause the formation of unwanted disinfection byproducts. Therefore, flushing is needed to protect water aesthetics and public health.

The Sudbury Water District is currently under water-use restrictions required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) based on reduced water levels in the Concord River. DEP places those restrictions on usage as a measure to prevent further reduction in flow in the Concord River and other rivers and streams nearby, thereby protecting the environments of those water bodies. However, DEP allows us to flush our mains during this restriction period in recognition of the value that flushing provides.

Even though restrictions are currently in place, we still plan on flushing our water mains as much as possible. If we start to face high demand periods and our system’s pumps and piping cannot tolerate the additional demand from flushing, we will have no choice but to stop flushing altogether. Provided that is not the case, then we plan to continue to flush until the entire system has been addressed for the year. Our goal is to produce the highest quality water at the tap, and flushing is needed for us to meet that goal.

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