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  • Brown water

    A company flushed/cleaned today the fire sprinkler system in the condominium but the potable water got "brown" I am not familiar with WA state, but shouldn't be a back-flow preventer on the fire sprinkler pipes? The maintenance man said that it is normal and the water will stay "brown" for few days ??? So, we will drink brown or contaminate water for few days. I know our mentors have the answer.

  • #2
    i would imagine it's similar to how we are plumbed here and probably the rest of the country.

    the potable water and fire system water come from the same underground potable system fed from your water district. true the sprinkler system would have a backflow preventer that would prevent water in the fire system from coming back into the potable system, but the issue is not caused by that.

    i would suspect that the issue is caused by filling and flushing the sprinkler main. depending on the size of the main and the speed at which it's filled and flushed, could easily stir up the sediment and rust in an otherwise low flow idle system. pretty much the same happens when the fire dept. flushes hydrants in the neighborhood.

    out here, the domestic water is tapped into the city water main and then metered at the curb. the fire main is also tapped into the city main typically separately from the domestic tap. but in some cities only 1 tap is brought to the property and then it's tapped at the property curb box for the domestic water. saves the water company from having to cut the street twice and running 2 separate lines to the property, but it's also a reason why you could get the dirty water when a high flow is used.

    At catalina island just off our coast, the fire hydrants are salt water and so are the toilets. another reason why the beaches are 1 of the dirtiest to swim in. the salt water rots out the sewer pipes and the homes are very close to the small beach front. not to mention the boat harbor is right at the beach too.

    Rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Originally posted by lpd View Post
      A company flushed/cleaned today the fire sprinkler system in the condominium but the potable water got "brown" I am not familiar with WA state, but shouldn't be a back-flow preventer on the fire sprinkler pipes? The maintenance man said that it is normal and the water will stay "brown" for few days ??? So, we will drink brown or contaminate water for few days. I know our mentors have the answer.

      All of which tells me the backflow assemblies are working, and you are getting brown water.
      Your water purveyor supplied you with fresh, clean, potable water. You dirtied it up. Trust me they don't want it back.

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