Flushing the system has numerous benefits including:
1. Pipe Cleaning – the higher velocities clean the walls of the pipe.
2. Water Circulation – the water at dead-end lines and cul-de-sacs is flushed out.
3. Valve Exercising – both the valves in the road and on the fire hydrant need to be turned so, over time, they don’t get stuck.
4. System Check – just like the body needs a physical check-up, flushing the system is like putting the body on a treadmill and monitoring the vital signs.
Flushing the system can cause some temporary inconveniences of low water pressure or slightly discolored water. The discolored water poses no health risk and is part of the process to clean out sediment in the water lines. If you see people flushing hydrants in your neighborhood, refrain from using water in your home until after the process is complete (usually 15 or 30 minutes). After they leave, turn a cold water tap on for a few minutes to clear out any possible remaining sediment in your own line.
For the safety of both residents and City workers, we ask for the public’s help by allowing full access to fire hydrants. Please move parked vehicles away from hydrants and try to keep children at a safe distance.
Even though water is a precious resource and flushing may appear to waste water, please be assured we are committed to conserving water, energy, and labor by flushing no more than necessary. The personnel flushing fire hydrants are trained in proven water system maintenance practices. Thank you for your cooperation with this project. If you have questions or concerns, please call the Department of Public Works Water Section at 229-7500.
The Utah County Health Department and a group of several local partners have joined forces to plan and carry out this year’s Utah County Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day. It will take place 9 AM to 3 PM at the Provo Towne Center Mall (west parking lot) on April 14, 2018.
There are probably a lot of things around your home that you haven’t gotten rid of because you weren’t sure of the right way to do it. Things like paint, solvents, automotive fluids medications, pesticides, fluorescent light bulbs, etc. Now is your chance to declutter your surroundings by dropping these things off with the proper disposal partners. Please refer to this document to see what you should bring to this year’s event. It will also let you know what you shouldn’t bring (usually things that are too large or require specialized handing to dispose of properly).
As a reminder, for wastes to be handled safely, make sure that they are not mixed and that they are in capped or sealed containers. Bring them in the original container if you can.
Please take a moment to gather these items around your house and prepare to take them on April 14. And please let you family, friends and neighbors in Utah County about this event. Thanks.
The City has had a long-standing relationship with the Utah County Stormwater Coalition. They produced the following article for us to pass along to our residents.
Deicers lower the melting point of ice to help remove ice and snow from pavement. Sodium chloride (rock salt) is the most common product because it’s effective and cheap. However, it is highly corrosive and ecologically damaging. Some deicers are significant sources of phosphorous. Here are some ways to help keep our water supply cleaner:
- Be sure to keep deicers in a covered area to prevent runoff to the storm system and contamination of ground water.
- Always apply deicing products according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Using the old-fashioned approach of a shovel means eliminating ice and snow without harmful chemicals and with the added benefit of physical exercise.
Why Does It Matter?
Polluted water that enters your storm drain (the grate in the street curb that collects water runoff) does not get treated, and instead flows directly into local water bodies where it can harm aquatic life and habitats, contaminate drinking water supplies and recreational waterways, and lessen aesthetic value.
The library has booked a presentation that we are very excited about. You may remember the algae blooms that have occurred in recent summers on Utah Lake. A professor at UVU, Dr. Kevin Shurtleff will be presenting some of his research on harmful algal blooms. Come join him at 7 pm on Thursday, February 22 in the Storytelling Wing of the Library. I am including the abstract Dr. Shurtleff submitted about his presentation below. Thanks for your interest.
“Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a serious environmental issue worldwide. HABs occur when water conditions (temperature, solar insolation, nutrients) foster rapid growth of cyanobacteria (blue green algae) and other microalgae. When microalgae reach high concentrations, incoming sunlight is blocked, preventing photosynthesis. This results in microalgae death, releasing endotoxins that contaminate the water. The purpose of the microalgae harvesting project at Utah Valley University is to design and build a direct microalgae harvesting boat that can be deployed on Utah to prevent future HABs, reduce nutrient load in the Lake, and ultimately produce a carbon-neutral biofuel.
“My research students and I have designed, built, and tested five lab-scale, microalgae harvesting technologies. Each of these technologies required modification to work in a floating harvester configuration. We tested the effectiveness of each technology at removing low concentrations of microalgae from water, collection efficiency over time, and capital and operating costs. The test results enabled us to determine the technology best suited for full-scale operation. We are currently designing and building a full scale, microalgae harvesting boat, implementing the selected harvesting technology. The goal is to deploy the prototype microalgae harvester on Utah Lake in June of 2018.”
Also here is a biographical sketch about Dr. Shurtleff:
“Dr. Shurtleff received a PhD in physical chemistry from Brigham Young University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Marriott School. He has been an assistant professor of chemistry at Utah Valley University for 6 years. In that time, he has mentored over 58 students as they performed research on recycling used motor oil, renewable, wind, solar, and river compressed air electricity generation, and now microalgae harvesting and clean air technologies. Before UVU, he spent 25 years in industry, taking technologies from the laboratory into the marketplace. He has been working in energy for the past 20 years. Dr. Shurtleff is a serial entrepreneur. He has started five companies based on technologies he developed: MicromistNOW – fast inhalable products, Mountain West Energy – enhanced oil recovery, Trulite – hydrogen fuel source, Synexus – portable, integrated fuel cell system, and Peak Semiconductor – gallium arsenide crystal growth. He is married to Jane Loftus, a UVU professor of math. He has 7 adult children, and 6.5 grandchildren. He has lived in Orem for the past 25 years.”
An incident in our Public Works yard reminded us of the importance of keeping our dumpster areas clean. If you have a dumpster at your business or apartment building, you may want to take heed of this anecdote.
On Monday, February 5, a visual inspection of our yard showed that someone had tried to dispose of a bag of lime (crushed limestone) in one of our dumpsters, but the bag’s contents didn’t all make it into the dumpster. Lime has many uses, but it has the effect of altering the pH of water it comes in contact with, making water more alkaline than natural. This incident served as a quick reminder to regularly check dumpster areas for messes. We were able to get the powder swept up quickly.
While we strive to have a yard that is clean and organized at all times, sometimes things happen. The important thing is to respond to a potentially negative situation quickly and correctly. We are so glad that the lime could be contained and cleaned up.
What is there that might be making the area around your dumpster dirty? Take a few minutes this week and make sure the debris on your property is cleaned up. This will make a positive impact on tenants and customers that rely on your dumpster to be a safe place to get rid of their solid wastes.
Winding southwesterly from Trail Lake in the High Uintas to Utah Lake just downstream of Orem, Provo River is one of the area’s natural wonders. It is home to three Blue Ribbon Fisheries between Jordanelle Reservoir and Provo Canyon. These sites are great locations for fly fishing and yield brown trout and other notable fishes in abundance.
Its banks also provide a multitude of opportunities for running hiking, and biking, especially along paved trails from Utah Lake to Vivian Park and in Midway in the Heber Valley.
The Provo River is also classified as a high quality water by the State of Utah. It is a source of drinking water for many municipalities. With a little treatment, the water from the river is safe for consumption by residents in many cities, including Orem.
In 1996, the City of Orem established the storm water utility. This entity was formed to establish the means to handle storm water runoff through a system of conveyances and sumps. This system is not only meant to dissipate the quantity of storm water runoff from rainstorms and snow melt, it is also in place to minimize the negative impacts to water bodies from harmful pollutants that can accompany storm water flows.
For these reasons and more, the Provo River deserves protection, Our City Storm Water Utility has included several items in our Storm Water Management Plan that aim at keeping the Provo River in good shape. Construction sites within 500 feet of the river are inspected more frequently. Also all storm water outfalls that drain into the Provo River are inspected annually and sampled regularly to confirm that discharges are as clean as they can be. These areas close to the Provo River are also included in our high priority area for illicit discharge detection activities.
All in all, we strive to keep the River clean. If you see something that could be a hazard or could endanger the quality of the water in the Provo River, give us a call or send us an email. We want to preserve the Provo River as a safe source water and a great location for fishing, tubing, walking, running and biking.
To learn more, visit any of these:
- The leaves are a safety hazard. Because there is no way of knowing the road conditions under the leaves, bicyclists that use this route are forced to go out into the driving lanes to pass this obstacle.
- The leaves can block storm drains. Try watching a storm drain inlet covered in leaves in a rain storm. It only takes a few leaves to back up the water into a large puddle. This creates nuisance flooding and can potentially cause an additional safety hazard. It can even lead to property damage.
- Water quality can also be affected by the accumulation of decayed leaves in storm drains. Storm water is not treated before it is discharged into Utah Lake, the Provo River or our groundwater, so the concentration of nutrients in the leaves have the potential to contribute to algae blooms next summer.