Shrewsbury completes unidirectional flushing

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Dan Rowley stands inside the Jordan Pond Pump Station.
Shrewsbury Water and Sewer Superintendent Dan Rowley stands inside the Jordan Pond Pump Station in town. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

SHREWSBURY – The town of Shrewsbury recently completed a pass of a flushing program throughout the entire town designed to remove manganese from the municipal water supply.

This unidirectional flushing program began in fall 2019.

For years, Shrewsbury added liquid polyphosphate to suspend manganese in the water. The manganese levels increased, and the town received complaints about the water quality. 

The Home Farm Water Treatment plant began biologically removing the manganese in 2018. That step aimed to increase Shrewsbury’s water quality. But Water and Sewer Superintendent Dan Rowley said in a press release that it didn’t resolve all of issues because there wasn’t a flushing program in place. 

Unidirectional flushing is a type of water main flushing.

“Our vision is that unidirectional flushing will be an ongoing program with work taking place in the spring and fall seasons as water demand allows,” Rowley said. “We will be conducting the work using town staff as well as help from a contractor.”

There have been other benefits to the program, like cleaning the water valves in the town’s system. This process has also helped identify fire hydrants that need maintenance, according to the town’s press release.

Shrewsbury’s goal is to complete unidirectional flushing of the whole town every two to three years, depending on the seasonal demand of the water system. 

Speaking back in April of 2020, Rowley said the town had already seen a reduction in water quality complaints since the flushing program began in 2019.

“The lines are clearing up nicely,” he said at the time.

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