WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — Just as the letter indicated, work began at 9 am sharp today, as workers from Winchester Municipal Utilities opened up the two fire hydrants on Sylvania Avenue to execute a “hard flush” to clean out the main line.
As LEX 18 first reported last week, residents of Sylvania Avenue have been complaining for years that their water has been discolored, and potentially unsafe. Tests on the supply were conducted to determine if the latter is the case, and there was no report of E.coli, or other bacteria being detected.
The main line is made of cast iron and is roughly 65-years-old. “Any utility in Central Kentucky, or (anywhere) in Kentucky, would have the same problem with an unlined cast iron line,” said Foster Taulbee, a field supervisor with WMU. WMU has recognized the problem and knows today’s flush is just a temporary solution, one which might last for three to six months.
“We have this Sylvania Avenue line on a main replacement program,” Taulbee said of Winchester’s program, which earmarks money for main replacement projects as they are needed. “It is scheduled and we’re in the process of developing plans for it now,” he continued.
We saw a blueprint of that plan, but WMU asked us to refrain from showing it, as it still requires approval. Kenneth Dryden, WMU’s Interim General Manager did say he anticipates work being completed on this new replacement line within one year, if not sooner.
That work will inconvenience many by making the pavement here look like a war zone for several months. But for those who’ll have to steer around it, it’ll be well worth it once completed. “That’s what has to be done,” said Elizabeth Dawson, a resident who has led this charge for the neighborhood. “That’s just temporary. When this is over with, we’re going to have clean, safe water.”
This morning’s hard flush resulted in a good test for chlorine, which met standard levels. It also cleaned the line out, for now. Just as that letter indicated it would.