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Brown water has residents seeing red

Flushing fire hydrants is a common practice for the city, but it has some residents seeing red - well, brown actually to match the color of their water.

The Ironton Fire Department began flushing fire hydrants Monday. City officials said the flushing will continue throughout the week from 8 a.m. until about 2 p.m. each day.

Because the water has been discolored and many people did not see the announcement in The Ironton Tribune, many residents have been annoyed by the problem.

"(The phone calls) have not stopped for two days," said Cindy Friend, secretary in the mayor's office.

The city needs to flush the hydrants twice a year to remove sediment that builds up in the lines, but it has been about a year and a half since the last flushing so it may be a little worse than normal, water administrator Charlene Thomas said.

Normally, the flushing is done at night but the city decided to do it during the day so people would not wake up to brown water, she said.

"I have been here 19 years and this has been the worst two days,"

Thomas said.

Ellison Street resident Vicki DeCourley stopped by the city center Tuesday to voice her concerns and see about getting something to clean her white curtains that came out of the washer a rusty brown.

"I know they have to do it," she said. "I am not objecting to brown water but this is the first time I have got caught with rusty clothes."

DeCourley was given chemicals that are available at the city center and her curtains came clean. She said she just would like a little more notice.

Because of all the calls, Thomas said the city may try to put a small announcement on the water bills next time in an effort to reach more people.

Residents may see some discoloration even when the flushing is in other neighborhoods, but all the discoloration should be gone by Sunday, Thomas said.

"The community just needs to bear with us this week," she said. "We just need to see if we can get this out of the system."

The Fire Department has already flushed fire hydrants in the Ironton Hill's area, Yellow Branch Road and along State Route 141, Eighth, Ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th streets.

The process will continue today on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh streets.

Thursday the fire department will cover Third, Fourth and Fifth streets. Hydrants along First, Second, Third streets and north Ironton past the flood wall will be flushed Friday and Saturday.