AUB's Fall Flush of City Water Lines This Friday

Media Contact:

Wayne Scarbrough

(423) 745-4501 ext. 6002

October 24, 2018


ATHENS, Tenn. – Athens Utilities Board (AUB) will flush water lines and fire hydrants throughout the city beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday, October 26, weather permitting.  The work will go throughout the night.


Flushing water distribution lines is preventive maintenance that ensures clean, sediment-free water year round.


The work to flush all hydrants will involve teams of AUB crewmembers that will begin work simultaneously at various points throughout the system.  Crews will open each hydrant on the system for several minutes, until they verify that the water is clean with minimal sediment.  Some hydrants may remain open longer, at a “lazy stream” pace, for several hours depending on their position in the system.

The effort will continue throughout the night until all hydrants have been flushed.  Work should be complete by sunrise on Saturday.


AUB urges area residents to keep these things in mind Friday night and the following Saturday:


  • -During the flushing, residents may experience times of low water pressure due to the loss of head pressure in the AUB reservoirs that supply water to the system.  Low water pressure will likely begin around 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will come and go throughout the night as various areas are flushed.  A pump will run continuously at AUB’s water plant to help keep as much water in supply reservoirs as possible, but low-pressure periods in some areas during the work are likely.

    -Overnight on Friday, and even throughout Saturday when the work is finished, some areas may have slightly cloudy water.  This is typical and primarily is the result of small entrained air bubbles that will dissipate with time.  Some cloudiness may be the result of sediment being washed free of the lines by the high-velocity, high-volume water circulated through the system.

    -Because of the possibility of sediment in the water, area residents should avoid washing clothes during the work, and especially on Saturday following the work.  Washing during these time periods could result in clothes that are dingy or discolored.


To protect streams and aquatic life, AUB uses a compound called sodium thiosulfate to neutralize chlorine in the higher-than-normal volume of water that is drained from the system in a relatively short period.