The water department is responsible for flushing dead-end water mains every month. To do this we use fire hydrants that are located at the end of all dead-end mains. Flushing is an important component to ensure the quality of water in the city.
Each year, the Public Works Department and the Fire Department opens fire hydrants throughout the City and allows the water to flow through the pipes. The hydrant-flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the City's water system.
Hydrant flushing serves the following purposes:
- Flushes sediments from mainline pipes (which enhances water quality)
- Verifies the proper operation of fire hydrants and valves
- Helps find weaknesses in the water system
- Checks for closed valves and weak flows in the water mains
- Verifies ample flow for fire fighting
Hints during Hydrant Flushing:
- There may be a temporary drop in water pressure at this time.
- Water may be rusty or cloudy. Discolored water is not harmful and will clear up in a few hours.
Flush your hot water tanks after the cold water clears.
Do not wash white laundry during this period (wait until cold AND hot water are clear before laundering whites).
Hydrant Flushing Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN THE CITY CREWS ARE FLUSHING HYDRANTS IN MY AREA?
If you see a crew flushing a hydrant or the fire department on your street, avoid running tap water and using the
washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is completed.
WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER HYDRANT FLUSHING?
If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out full of sediment that causes discoloration. If you encounter
discolored water, shut the water off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold water for
a few minutes allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. If the water is clear it’s OK to use. If not, wait a few
more minutes and check again. In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only
affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.
Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of
dark clothes first. Hot water tanks can hold discolored water for some time after the cold water runs clear.
If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped particles.
WHY DOES MY WATER LOOK FUNNY AFTER HYDRANT FLUSHING?
When a hydrant is opened, there will be temporary incidences of discolored water while fine sediment particles are
flushed out. There is no health hazard associated with the discolored water. Allow a few hours for discoloration to
dissipate. To verify water is clear, run your cold-water tap for a few minutes.