Regular flushing serves two purposes: first, to clean mineral accumulations deposited in water lines and second, to test the function, performance, and maintenance of the fire hydrants.
The safety of the water we supply is not diminished by this process.
The main component of the discoloration of the water during hydrant flushing is caused by iron deposits from inside the water mains. The source of the iron is naturally occurring in the aquifer from where the water is pumped.
During the flushing process, it is common for a yellow, brown, or reddish tint to appear in the water. Harmless mineral deposits settle in the water mains and flushing the fire hydrants stirs the deposits, sometimes causing discoloration of the water.
Here are a few tips of what to do if hydrant flushing is taking place in your neighborhood area:
- If possible, avoid using water while the hydrant flushing is taking place. By not using the water from the tap (cold or hot) or running appliances that use water (dishwashers, washing machines, etc.), you can prevent discolored water from entering your household plumbing system altogether.
- If you encounter discolored water following hydrant flushing, run the cold water taps only. Do not use hot water taps throughout your home at bathroom sinks, tubs, kitchen faucets, etc. for 5-15 minutes or until the water clears. This allows discolored water to work its way out of your household plumbing system. If you do experience discolored water in the hot water lines of your plumbing system, flush the household lines in the same manner as the cold water system.