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Fire Hydrant Flushing

Hydrant Flushing Operations
The hydrant-flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the City’s domestic water distribution system.  Each year, Public Works Department water technicians systematically open hydrants throughout the City to allow water to flow at a high velocity through the distribution mainlines. This operation serves the following purposes:
  • Enhances water quality by removing sediments from inside the mainline and flushing them out through the hydrant.
  • Identifies malfunctions of the hydrant and related valves.
  • Helps determine weaknesses in the water distribution system.
  • Identifies inadequate water volumes and pressures in the mainlines.
  • Helps determine fire flows at the hydrant.
You may encounter the following conditions during hydrant flushing operations:
  • A temporary drop in the water pressure to your home or business.
  • Rusty brown, or cloudy water. (Discolored water is not harmful. These conditions will subside in a few hours after the flushing is completed.)
Helpful Hints to Remember
  • Before the flushing operation begins:
      1. Fill a bottle or clean, plastic milk jug with fresh tap water and store it in the refrigerator to use for drinking and cooking.
      2. Do NOT wash white or light-colored laundry during the flushing operations. 
  • After the flushing operation is completed:
      1. Open the cold water faucets and let the water flow until it is clear. Turn off the faucets.
      2. Open the hot water faucets and let the water flow until it is clear. Turn off the faucets.
      3. When both hot and cold water are clear, the water is ready for use as normal.
      4. Check the faucet screens for trapped particles.
      5. Wash a load or two of dark-colored clothes first.