Crews from Philadelphia Utilities have been flushing water lines throughout the city in recent days with customers seeing extra sediment or “dirty water” coming out of faucets for a short period, officials said.

Philadelphia Utilities manager Kirk Morgan said the process started early Saturday morning.

The flushing was expected to end with the Williamsville area on Tuesday, he said.

“I am getting updates from the field that they should be done sometime soon,” Morgan said on Monday.

He said the project, which started at 2 a.m.  Saturday morning, requires his crews to open fire hydrants around town and flush the water for a period of time.

“We do this yearly. There is never really a great time to do it, but we appreciate everyone's patience. We know it can be aggravating,” Morgan said.

There are roughly 600 fire hydrants in the PU system. The flushing process uses between 10 and 15 million gallons of water.

Customers on Pecan Avenue have reported their water coming out like “dark red mud” in past months.

That is one reason why the lines are flushed, Morgan said, noting that PU was aware of the complaints.

Over the course of the year,  sediment settles in the pipes and must be periodically purged from the system, he said, noting that it doesn’t take a dangerous level of sediment to change the color of the water.

“I am sure it is related, it’s just part of the process. We are trying to rectify any complaints we get on a case-by-case basis as quickly as we can,” Morgan said.

“As always, we encourage people to call if they are experiencing problems and we will take down their name and address and get right on it.”

Morgan said water discoloration also occurs when they repair pipes. It can also happen in older systems, like the one in Philadelphia, when the ground shifts, he said.

He said this part of the process gives Philadelphia “some of the cleanest drinking water in the state of Mississippi.”

Morgan said they are considering moving to an “incremental” more gradual flushing schedule for the future