City of Lake Charles Water Distribution System Unidirectional Flushing Program

The City of Lake Charles contracted with Manchac Consulting Group, Inc. to complete a comprehensive flush of the City’s water distribution system. A unidirectional flushing method was incorporated into the scope of work, which varied from previous practices utilized by the City of Lake Charles, in an effort to provide a more thorough scour of the piping network. The driving factors behind this change in practice were consistent complaints from residents concerning odor and discoloration throughout the water system.

The cause of these water quality issues was determined to be excessive buildup of iron and manganese in low‐pressure, low‐demand areas and rust accumulation within the City’s distribution network. To improve water quality and mitigate complaints, a unidirectional flushing program was chosen as a cost effective and immediate solution to thoroughly remove buildup within low‐pressure areas and provide escalated flow velocities to scour rust from aged piping.

Manchac Consulting Group, Inc. field engineers completed the unidirectional flushing program from July thru September 2017 for a comprehensive flush of the entire City of Lake Charles’s water distribution system.

Following completion of this flushing program, Manchac Consulting Group, Inc. provided a report to the City of Lake Charles that included observations about the current status of the distribution system, functionality of the City’s fire hydrants and water valves, and recommendations of how the City can improve its water quality throughout the distribution system.


*It should also be noted that all hydrants start out really dirty and then cleaned up a few seconds later. This is due to stagnant water in the hydrant's line, not the actual water line. The images show lines that cleaned up then got dirty again long after being turned on. This indicates that the build up in the lines are being blown out. Most flushes took five to ten minutes to clear up after the initial hydrant's line was cleaned.