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City of Vidalia hydrants getting flushed

VIDALIA — A four-week procedure to flush all the City of Vidalia’s fire hydrants will begin next week, and shouldn’t affect residents’ water quality, officials say.

The Vidalia Fire Department will begin flushing the fire hydrants Wednesday and could cause water inside houses to be slightly discolored in the area where the flushing is taking place, Fire Chief Johnny Evans said.

Evans said the water inside homes will be safe for consumption at all times.

“When you open up those plugs and start flushing 50 to 60 gallons of water, it’s going to fluctuate the residents’ water a bit, but there is no safety hazard,” Evans said. “There might be some slight discoloration depending on the area we’re in, but everything is still safe to drink.”

The purpose of flushing the hydrants, Evans said, is to measure the pressures on all the hydrants so firefighters can know how much pressure they can get out of a particular hydrant during a fire.

Those figures are recorded and checked annually by members of the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana, which handles the city’s fire rating.

“When they check our plugs and see the same numbers we have recorded, it helps our fire rating,” Evans said. “That helps lower the cost of a citizens’ insurance as well.”

The fire department’s current rating is a three out of 10, with one being the highest.

Hydrant flushing work will take place from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the following locations:

•Area 1, May 8-10 — South of Carter Street from Azalea to Riverside and Concordia Avenue, south to Logan Sewell Road.

•Area 2, May 13-17 — North of Carter Street from Concordia Avenue and Riverside Drive to Elm Street.

•Area 3, May 20-24 — The area north from the intersection of Murray Drive and Carter Street to the Glades subdivision and south of Carter Street into Taconey and Georgetown subdivisions.

Hydrants located on Carter Street will be flushed in the late evenings because of traffic.