Kentucky American Water Wrapping Up System Flushing Program Ahead of Schedule

Temporary water treatment change continues until May 23

As National Infrastructure Week (observed May 15-19) begins, Kentucky American Water is wrapping up the final stages of its annual water distribution system flushing activity that supports the continued provision of high-quality, reliable water service to customers.

The company has announced that this year’s water distribution system flushing effort, which started last month, has moved along quicker than anticipated and only water mains in the North Middletown portion of its system remain to be completed. Scheduled hydrant flushing in other areas of Kentucky American Water’s service area, including Fayette County, is complete.

During the flushing process crews open strategically located hydrants in the water distribution system to let water flow at a high velocity through pipes for several minutes. This activity helps remove natural sediment that has built up in pipes over time. Crews de-chlorinate the water as it leaves hydrants in order to remove the disinfecting agent in the water – chlorine – so that any water that enters streams is not harmful to aquatic life.

Opening hydrants during the annual flushing program also contributes to the company’s efforts to inspect and maintain annually each hydrant located within the water distribution system. Hydrants are key features of water infrastructure, supporting fire protection efforts for communities.

Before the hydrant flushing program began, the company’s three water treatment plants temporarily changed the disinfectant used in the water treatment process from chloramine to chlorine. This temporary change in water treatment will continue until Tuesday, May 23, when the treatment plants will resume using chloramine as the disinfectant.

Chloramine and chlorine are common disinfectants used in the water treatment process to remove microbial contaminants like bacteria and viruses from water. Chloramine is a water disinfectant that is formed when ammonia is added in combination with chlorine. The temporary change in the treatment process involves turning off the ammonia feed in the water treatment plants. This is a common practice during flushing programs for water systems that normally use chloramine throughout the year. The amount of chlorine in the water remains the same, but customers may notice a stronger taste or smell of chlorine in the water. This poses no health risk and the water remains safe to drink.

As a reminder, dialysis centers, medical facilities and aquatic pet owners should take precautions during the temporary switch from chloramine to chlorine. Most methods for removing chloramine from tap water are also effective for removing chlorine but confirming that a method is effective for both is recommended.

To reduce a heightened smell or taste of chlorine in tap water, refrigerate cold tap water in an open pitcher. Within a few hours, the chlorine taste or smell will disappear.

Kentucky American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and wastewater services to approximately half a million people. For more information, visit and follow Kentucky American Water on Twitter and Facebook.

About American Water

With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (NYSE: AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs approximately 6,500 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to an estimated 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable, and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit and Follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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