Fire Flow Testing & Hydrant Flushing

Testing fire flows and hydrant flushing requires opening fire hydrants and releasing large volumes of water. This is regular maintenance conducted by all water systems.

Pros: The flow tests ensure adequate water pressure to fire hydrants for fire protection.  The flushing of the water mains removes sediment that can build up and restrict water flow, reducing water pressure.

Con: This system maintenance can result in temporarily discolored water which may last 24-48 hours.  While the water remains safe, it has an unappetizing appearance.  It can also stain laundry and fixtures.

What Should You Do?

  • Prior to the designated flushing period: consider collecting water in a pitcher or pot to be used for drinking and cooking over the next 24 hours.
  • In the 24 hours after flushing, reduce usage as much as possible to avoid drawing discolored water into your home piping.
  • Avoid using laundry, ice machines, dishwasher, bathtubs, or hot water tanks.
  • If your water still appears discolored after 24 hours, run a cold water tap closest to your meter (usually found in the basement or a first floor sink) for up to 15 minutes.
  • If the water coming from the tap is not clear after running for 15 minutes, wait 1-2 hours and try again.
  • Avoid running a hot water tap because it could draw sediment into your hot water tank.

If you inadvertently drew discolored water into your home and the staining of clothes or fixtures does occur, rust removal products are available at the LELWD office..