This week, Illinois American Water will begin its annual maintenance program, which includes testing and flushing fire hydrants in addition to a temporary change in water treatment. This work is not related to the coronavirus. This work supports continued water quality and fire protection to homes and businesses; it will occur across the Alton water distribution system for the next month.
Illinois American Water conducts an annual flushing program of its water distribution system to support continued high-quality water service. Flushing the water system entails sending a rapid flow of water through the water mains. Fire hydrants are also checked and operated to support fire protection in the community. While Illinois American Water crews are testing and flushing fire hydrants, customers may experience a temporary drop in water pressure or draw some discolored water for a short period of time. If discolored water occurs, it is recommended that customers refrain from doing laundry and let their cold water run briefly; the water should clear up on its own.
In addition to the hydrant maintenance and flushing, Illinois American Water’s water quality team will be switching treatment to a form of chlorine known as “free chlorine,” which does not contain ammonia. This stronger disinfectant is typically used by water utilities when flushing water mains and fire hydrants. Chlorine is commonly used in public water systems as a disinfectant and is monitored closely by the company’s water quality professionals. During the temporary treatment change, customers may experience a more noticeable chlorine taste or odor in their water. There is no reason for concern. This is due to the switch in chlorine types. Institutions with additional water purification filters for special needs, for instance hospitals and dialysis centers, have been contacted about this work and are aware of the treatment change. Anyone with questions about home health care equipment should reach out to their healthcare provider.
The maintenance program will occur in all communities served directly by Illinois American Water in the Alton, Godfrey, Grafton, Elsah, Forest Homes-Maple Park, Joywood areas and also sale-for-resale (wholesale) communities. Customers are being notified of this work via media outreach, customer calls and information on Illinois American Water's website at www.illinoisamwater.com. Information is also provided to customer service center representatives. For additional information, customers can visit the website or contact Illinois American Water’s customer service center at 1-800-422-2782.