The Northwestern Water and Sewer District maintains a fire hydrant flushing program for approximately 3,500 fire hydrants that are part of the distribution system. Annually, the program consists of opening fire hydrants for maintenance and water quality reasons. The District maintains records of the program including which hydrants are flushed and when, report any deficiencies and issue work orders if additional maintenance is required (See Appendix A below).
Hydrants are flushed for several reasons:
- Even the best water can get stale if not used enough and by flushing the District maintains a fresh water supply
- To help maintain the water quality in the mainlines by removing fine sediment that comes from our natural aquifer and may have settled
- Flushing will also help the District to use less chlorine but still maintain small amounts in the water system as required by State and EPA regulations
- To make sure the hydrants are in proper working condition for fire protection
- Verify ample flow for fire fighting
Your water is safe to drink. Fire hydrant flushing is preventative maintenance. There may be a temporary drop in water pressure during testing periods. Occasionally, water becomes discolored after hydrant flushing. If this happens, run your cold water tap for a few minutes until the water clears. If it does not clear the first time, wait a few minutes and run the water again. You should avoid washing clothes until the water clears. For additional information, please see the FAQ link below or please call us at (419) 354-9090 extension 170.
Hydrants can be painted to give firefighters and water operators important imformation. Usually, systems use the color of the bonnet to indicate the size of the water main (See Appendix B below for more information).
Appendix A-Work Order Hydrant Flushing Example (PDF)
Appendix B-Uniform Color Scheme for Fire Hydrants (PDF)
2011 Hydrant Flushing Schedule (PDF)