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Hydrant Flushing Program

Monthly, CWS staff open fire hydrants around the coverage area and allow the water to flow through the pipes. Our hydrant flushing program is very important to our water system. It is an integral part of our ongoing effort to deliver the safest and highest quality water possible. We schedule our flushing program during the wetter months when water supplies are more plentiful. We flush from larger mains first, then move to smaller mains. The flushing route is carefully planned, and valves are opened and closed to control the direction of the water.

WHY IS HYDRANT FLUSHING NECESSARY?

Hydrant flushing enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the mainline pipes, checks for closed valves and weak flows in our mainlines, verifies the proper operation of hydrants and valves, and maintains firefighting capability.

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN CWS IS 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 done. 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 THE FLUSHING?

If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out discolored. 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. 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.

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