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Belfast Watermains Maintenance Programme

19 February 2020 16:18

Watermains Flushing

NI Water staff and contractors will be undertaking an essential programme of Watermains maintenance throughout Belfast from February until April 2020. Please see estimated dates and locations below. Please note they may be subject to change:

Flax Street DMA – starting 30/03/20 for 4 nights
Twaddel Avenue DMA – starting 06/04/20 for 3 nights
Easter Holidays – no flushing
Springfield Road DMA – starting 20/04/20 for 4 nights
Finaghy Halt South DMA – starting 27/04/20 for 5 nights
Enfield Street DMA – starting 04/05/20 for 4 nights
Manor Street DMA – starting 11/05/20 for 4 nights

WHAT WE ARE DOING?

We are cleaning and maintaining the watermains network by flushing, which involves opening fire hydrants in a phased sequence to flush out any sediments.

WHY WE ARE DOING THIS?

Over time, sediments can build up on the inside of our watermains, which can result in customers receiving discoloured water. To reduce the likelihood of discoloured water, we are carrying out a programme of work to clean our local distribution mains. The flushing programme is an effective way of preserving existing infrastructure, preventing future issues and improving services to our customers.

WHAT IS FLUSHING?

Flushing allows naturally occurring, harmless mineral deposits inside the network to be removed. While these deposits are not harmful, they can discolour the water.

To minimise disruption, this work will be carried out during the night and involves opening fire hydrants to safely flush out any accumulated sediment. You may notice personnel on the street carrying out this work and we will cordon off our apparatus in advance of flushing works to protect the public. All our employees carry company identification and welcome your enquiries.

While our work will be undertaken at night, there may be some light background noise through fire hydrants being operated, but we will do everything possible to keep disruption to a minimum.

DO I NEED TO DO ANYTHING?

If you are affected, you will receive a letter and to minimise any inconvenience, during the dates on your letter, we recommend the following:

  • Fill your kettle, or a suitable container with drinking water before work starts
  • Don’t use washing machines, dishwashers etc. or leave taps open
  • Don’t use mains fed instantaneous water heaters/showers if the water supply is interrupted (central heating will be fine)
  • If you have a water softener, isolate it using the bypass pipe work until the flushing is completed
  • Do not fill or change the water in fishponds or tanks for 48 hours.

NI Water would like to assure customers our number one priority is the quality and safety of the drinking water we provide. Your water will continue to be safe to drink at all times, but on the dates between the start and end of the flushing you may experience some temporary effects such as,

  • Discoloured or cloudy water
  • Low water pressure
  • Short interruptions

Water is often discoloured after watermain flushing, but this should not last long. In the event customers draw discoloured water into the home, run a cold tap for a few minutes and this should clear. As a precaution, prior to using hot water, run the cold water tap to ensure discoloured water is not drawn into the hot water tank. You do not have to boil the water before use; it is safe to drink at all times.

Bogus callers

We would like to remind all customers to be vigilant regarding bogus callers.  Bogus callers pose as staff seeking to gain entry to check the water supply in the customer’s property, or causing distraction while an accomplice breaks in. Once they have gained entry they will distract the customer and try to steal valuables lying around the home. 

If a caller comes to your door claiming to be from NI Water, Water Service or the Water Board, always ask to see their ID – all NI Water staff carry ID cards as they go about their business. This will have a photograph of the person carrying it and includes details such as their name, a unique serial number and our distinctive NI Water logo. Also, attach your door chain, if you have one; if not, ask the caller to hold the ID card up to a window or put it through your letterbox so you can read it properly without opening your door.  Please do not be afraid to check a caller’s ID; genuine callers from NI Water won’t mind waiting while you do. Never allow anyone into your home unless you are certain they are who they say they are.

We would like to thank residents in advance for their patience while we carry out this work.

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