8570 Executive Park Avenue, Fairfax, VA 22031  703.698.5600   |   After Hours Emergencies 703.698.5613, TTY 711

Winter Water Tips



Valve Operation Program

Fairfax Water will begin a valve operation program beginning April 5, 2010. The purpose of the program is to exercise main line valves throughout the distribution system to assure reliable operation and maintain water quality. The American Water Works Association recommends operation of main line valves periodically to prevent build up of deposits which may render the valve inoperable.

A main line valve is a valve which is installed at certain points in the water main system, usually at an intersection where the main may run in different directions or where access needs to be controlled remotely as with a fire hydrant. The valves provide a means of isolating small lengths of main in the event of a necessary shut down for emergencies or maintenance. The valves are generally in the street located under small lids covering valve boxes, usually about 6 inches in diameter. The program will provide an opportunity to check the condition of the valve box, as well as all aspects of valve operation.

During this program, crews will exercise the valves by operating the valve through a full cycle and returning it to its normal position. Where valves are exercised, a fire hydrant will be flowed to ensure that the water in the mains will remain clear. All care will be taken to minimize any potential impact on water quality. Even with these precautions, some discolored water is possible. Flushing may result in some temporary discoloration and the presence of sediment in your water. These conditions are not harmful and should be of short duration.

If you have questions about this program or the work being conducted in your area, you may call Customer Service any time of the day or night at 703-698-5613, TTY 711.