Cleaning Houston water lines

Houston taps will be spewing dark brown water starting late-August.

Houston taps will be spewing dark brown water starting late-August.

The District of Houston is putting a “scrubber” through the water lines to clear out the manganese build up.

Manganese is not a health concern, but turns the water into an unpleasant brown-yellow colour.

District Chief Administrative Officer Michael Glavin says Houston’s new water treatment plant is up and running, but some water is still coloured due to manganese buildup in the water lines.

He told council at a recent meeting that they will send a styrofoam or rubber bullet through the lines to scour them and remove manganese.

They will open fire hydrants to allow most of the sediment and water out, but water flowing to taps will still be affected.

“The water will be very dirty, probably the dirtiest you’ve ever seen,” Glavin said.

“It is a necessary evil.”

He says they will tackle the lines section by section and it will take two to three weeks to clear the lines of most of the build up.

“We have 20 to 35 years of sediment build up to clear out,” Glavin said.

At a previous meeting, Mayor Shane Brienen said manganese in the water is not just a Houston problem.

It has also been an issue in Vanderhoof, Telkwa and Smithers.

The new water treatment plant will clean out most of the mineral, but Brienen said there will still be “odd days in the summer when we get brown water.”