Water flushing Aug. 12-25 to ensure
|Flushing of Fort McCoy’s water system will be conducted
from Aug. 12-25 as a proactive measure to ensure the system is clear and
can continue to provide quality water to the post’s work force, training
population and residents.
Michael Miller, Fort McCoy Water and Waste Branch chief, said the
purpose of uni-directional flushing is to clear any sediments from the
system and ensure the quality and pressure of the water. This is in
addition to the annual water-quality tests the installation is required
to conduct, he added.
Uni-directional flushing goes beyond routine fire-hydrant flushing that
the installation has done regularly. The new procedure is required by
the Army and the state of Wisconsin and will be performed annually when
a plan is developed, Miller said.
“We are not doing this because we are having problems with our water
system,” he said. “We are doing this to help ensure we won’t encounter
the problems this procedure will take care of.”
The flushing will be done completely outdoors, so no one will be
entering buildings. Miller said members of the Fort McCoy community may
notice some side-effects from the flushing in their buildings, including
a drop in water pressure and discolored water as sediments are stirred
In uni-directional flushing, specified valves are shut off to force the
water to run backwards. Miller said this is done to clear sand sediments
that can develop and form shingle deposits. Shingle deposits are like
the shingles used on roofs in that they form one layer over the other.
When water reaches these shingles, it runs over the top of the shingles
and can collect sediments or be slowed down passing over the sand
sediments, thereby affecting the quality and pressure of the water.
During uni-directional flushing, water is forced under the shingles,
blowing them out of the line and ensuring unimpeded water flow.
“There are no harmful health effects from drinking discolored water,” he
said. “Compounds such as iron, manganese, and other sediments make it
discolored, but they don’t affect the microbiological quality of water.”
System customers experiencing discolored or rusty-looking water are
encouraged to let the sediments settle for several hours after the
flushing has been completed, he said. Customers also are encouraged to
limit the use of hot water during this time because it could draw
sediments into hot-water heaters. After the uni-directional flushing is
completed, customers are advised to run cold water for about five
minutes to flush the pipes, he said.
A uni-directional flushing program helps ensure McCoy’s hydrants, valves
and mains are in good working order, and support the installation’s
population. The testing ensures the installation’s water system
maintains good water quality by scouring and cleaning the pipes, and
ensuring the reliability of the water system.
For more information about the water system at McCoy, call Miller at