HYDRANT FLUSHING

Periodically, the Public Works 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.

It 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

  1. There may be a temporary drop in water pressure at this time.
  2. Water may be rusty or cloudy. Discolored water is not harmful and will clear up in a few hours.
  3. Fill a bottle with water and store it in the refrigerator to use for drinking or cooking.
  4. Flush your hot water tanks after the cold water clears.
  5. Do not wash white laundry during this period (wait until cold AND hot water are clear before laundering whites).

Hydrant Flushing Frequently Asked Questions

WHY IS HYDRANT FLUSHING NECESSARY?

Hydrant flushing enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the water mains, verifies the proper operation of hydrants and valves, and maintains firefighting capability.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN THE CITY CREWS ARE FLUSHING HYDRANTS IN MY AREA?

If you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is completed. If you see hydrant-flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.

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.

WHO DO I CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION?

For additional information about water quality please call the Public Works department at (432) 264-2501.

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