NS. CLOUD, Florida – For the first time, the City of St. Cloud will flush its entire water system. In the past, the city has only flushed parts of the system that have received complaints.
The move comes after higher than expected levels of sediment were found in some of the city’s water tanks.
What you need to know
- The city of St. Cloud is flushing its entire water system for the first time
- Previously, the city had only flushed areas of the system where complaints had been received
- The decision to flush the system was made after excessive sediment was found in some of the city’s storage tanks
“Brown water is not safe water,” says Tugce Figeac’s truck. She has also posted messages on the window of her house.
“They say this is safe. Look at this, it’s a bit like a lava lamp, ”she said, pointing to a bottle of discolored water.
Figeac said she had to avoid the water from her tap.
“So that’s what’s left of our 15 (bottle) 5-gallon water supply that we use for cooking, cleaning our vegetables and fruits, and drinking,” she said.
Figeac showed a video of “brown looking” water coming out of her bathroom faucet and said she shouldn’t have to deal with dirty looking water.
“I have to bathe my children in it, and it’s kind of sad,” she said.
St. Cloud officials said a recent inspection found sediment in the bottom storage tanks of water treatment facility # 4, a facility that has had problems in the past.
Resin is also a problem, and city officials said a number of events occurred when they backwashed their system during peak flow times, causing the water to flow directly into the bottom storage tanks through a bypass. While the water was being treated, it hadn’t gone through the polishers removing the last bit of resin.
“We are now aware that this is happening. We have taken steps – for example, we no longer backwash the system at peak times so we don’t bypass it, ”said Maryemma Bachelder, St. Cloud’s director of communications. “And we are in the process of installing alarms and opacimeters on the systems so that if this happens in the future, we can immediately know and react.”
City officials said the tanks, transmission lines, and later the entire system will be cleaned.
First, the city cleans the tanks with divers and vacuum cleaners. Next, the city plans to clean the large pipelines that come straight from the facility and will be connected to the rest of the water system.
As soon as the transmission line is flushed, they finally begin the unidirectional flushing program, which starts at the system and works its way out through the system.
Figeac, who says she sometimes has a hard time eating from a plate she washed in her sink, just wants normal-looking water.
“We hope for a solution – we hope for clean water,” she said. “I mean everyone deserves clean water.”
The city has been performing ice pigging for the past six weeks – a treatment that uses ice to rinse pipes. In that time they have milked 28 miles of pipe with 76,000 gallons of ice. The process should be completed by Saturday.
City workers will start cleaning the tanks on Monday, which should take about a week. After the tanks are ready, the large transmission line is cleaned from the facility.
And in October the city will begin unidirectional flushing, which works its way through the entire system from the facility.
Residents with discolored water are encouraged to report this to the city using the St. Cloud Connect app, the city website (click Report a Problem), or by calling 407-957-7344.