Over the past few months some of you may have been experiencing brownish colored water in your home at times. I would like to explain why you have experienced this issue.
As you know, the City of Whitewater installed a new water tower just south of the Highway 12 bypass. Adjacent to the new tower is one of five water wells within our system. During the construction of the new tower, this well stayed in service to pump water into the water distribution system. However, during the construction of the water tower we began to notice the well pump was starting to lose some pumping capacity. The decision was made to take the well offline to perform an inspection, which verified iron was blocking the suction screen and some of the well casing had begun to go soft and develop holes. Arrangements were made to repair the well pump motor, clean the suction screen, and replace the well casing. The project was expedited to get the well back in service as soon as possible.
Before the new water tower the water in the water mains typically traveled in one direction from the well toward the water tower in Starin Park. With the new water tower online and the well out of service, water in the water mains had to reverse and flow toward the new water tower in order to fill it when needed and then flow back to serve homes. This back and forth action, of the water in the water mains, caused some dislodging of minerals that formed on the inside of the pipes. The mineral buildup is very typical and is not hazardous or harmful.
Some residents who notified us about their concerns allowed us into their homes. We removed their water meter and flushed the lateral for a number of minutes until the water was clear. This seemed to have worked with positive results.
With the well back in operation now, we will use this well as much as possible to fill the new water tower to avoid the back and forth turbulence of the water in the water mains. Additionally, we will do a directional hydrant flushing in the areas that have been impacted during our normal hydrant flushing scheduled for April. If the need warrants us to do flushing sooner or again after April, we will. Also planned for this year is the installation of a new water main connecting the new water tower to a dead end watermain to the east. This watermain will loop the water system and help with the water quality and supplying water to the water tower.
Please continue to contact the Water Utility (262-473-0560) if you are experiencing any water quality issues, and we will do our best to respond in a timely matter. We apologize for the inconvenience you may have experienced in the last few months.
Jim A. Bergner
Water Utility Superintendent