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Why does the fire hydrant in my Sentry Oaks neighborhood spray water every night?

Jim Brumm

This hydrant at Lydden Road and Granby Street in the Sentry Oaks neighborhood sprays water every night. (Contributed photo)

The full question:

“I live in Sentry Oaks off of Myrtle Grove Road. We have a hydrant with a red box near us. Every night around 10:30 p.m., it is turned on and allowed to spray water into the street for an hour or so. This seems to be such a waste, especially when we are in a semi-drought, being 9 inches or so behind in rainfall for the year. Why do they do this?”

And the answer:

The red box on the fire hydrant is an automatic flusher that allows regular flushing of the water mains to maintain fresh and safe water in the community, writes Cape Fear Public Utility Authority spokeswoman Carey Disney Ricks. This is needed in Sentry Oaks because the neighborhood is far from the authority’s water treatment facility, causing the water to be in the pipe longer and increasing the possibility of disinfection byproducts caused when chlorine reacts with naturally existing organics.

Ricks said this area will remain on a continual flushing schedule until the utility authority completes planned interconnections designed to improve the water system’s hydraulics, thereby reducing the requirement to flush as frequently.

She pointed out flushers are scheduled for late at night so as not to reduce available flow and pressure during the system’s busy hours, adding the authority has performed outreach in this area to inform the residents of this program. For example, CFPUA Water Distribution Supervisor Jim Tayson and other staff have been in this neighborhood about a dozen times, speaking to the homeowners association and other resident groups.

User-contributed question by:
Mike Beaudoin

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