St. Pete 'clears the pipes' Monday; residents may see water discoloration

- Some St. Petersburg residents may experience discolored tap water and lower water pressure Monday thanks to a new “clear the pipes” program.

The discoloration does not pose a health risk, the city assures.

However, the Water Resources Department recommends residents should avoid using tap water or running the washing machine or dishwasher until flushing is complete.  They ensure that the water is safe, but it is recommended that users run the faucet for five to 10 minutes until the water appears clear. 

The program is called Unidirectional Flushing UDF, which is a practice used to clean and maintain potable water distribution pipes. The systematic flushing technique isolates portions of the distribution system to achieve water flow in one direction to forcefully scour mineral deposits, biofilm and sediments that accumulate over time. These elements are simply "flushed" from the water mains through the high pressure process using clean water and are effectively removed from the distribution system.

Neighborhoods south of 54th Avenue South, as well as parts of Point Brittany, Isla Del Sol and Lakewood Terrace that are on city water will be affected. Residents may see crews tapping fire hydrants to release the directed water between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

The city says neighborhoods which will be affected by the program were alerted to the work with door hangers and street-side signage.

If the water does not clear after the procedure, residents are asked to call Water Resources at 727-893-7261.

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