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Each day in the City of Xenia there is more than 200 miles of pipes delivering excellent water to residents of the city. In order to maintain water quality, Xenia Public Service flushes hydrants twice a year.
During the course of the year, sediment can settle within the pipes, making it necessary to flush. When 'dead end' hydrants, which sit at the end of a street are flushed, water can flow from them for around two hours, "so when people see this, we're not wasting water," said Ray Ferrell, Streets Supervisor for Xenia Public Service, "we're actually helping water quality."
Having a quality water supply is a major component to attracting economic development, said Public Service Director and City Engineer Chris Berger. Berger said when the City is approached by potential economic developers, one of the top questions asked is if the City's water supply accommodate them. "We need to maintain that capability to have that at our disposal," Berger explained.
While residents may have seen hydrants outside of their home or place of work being flushed, the process is much more complex than it looks. As hydrants are being flushed out in the field, technicians at the water treatment plant are keeping a close eye on water levels and pressure. Grids on computer screens show water levels and sound alarms if a problem arises. Keeping a close eye on those levels is a matter of public safety, operator Craig Mills referenced Xenia Fire Division as an example, "they have a big fire and we're not prepared, they can't fight fire without water."
Hydrant flushing and water treatment is just one of the many aspects Xenia Public Service is responsible to manage. "In a nutshell," said Berger, "it's the preservation and improvement of our infrastructure, is what the Public Service Department, their primary roles really are."
Visit the City of Xenia's YouTube page to watch a video that explains the process further.