Fire Hydrants are a critical part of fighting fires in our communities. Fire hydrants are connected to our water distribution systems network of underground pipes. Therefore, the water that comes out of a fire hydrant is the same drinking water used in our homes, businesses, and schools.
Fire hydrants in colder climates, such as our area, use “dry barrel hydrants” which means no water stays in the upper section of the hydrant when the hydrant valve is turned off. “Wet barrel” fire hydrants are popular in climates where freezing is not an issue. Although materials have improved and some of the elements of fire hydrant design have been refined, the basic form, of both the dry and wet barrel fire hydrants have remained relatively unchanged since the mid 1800s.
Hydrants are also used for water main (pipe) flushing. Flushing programs maintain water quality and minimize discoloration by comprehensively flushing water mains with a technique known as unidirectional flushing. The procedure involves the systematic opening and closing of fire hydrants and valves, one section of main at a time, to force the water through the pipes at high velocity, removing accumulated mineral sediment until the water is clear.
When flushing crews are working close to your residence or business you may experience discolored water which can be drawn into homes and business if the water is being used during or immediately following the flushing. If discoloration occurs, open the cold water faucet nearest the water meter – usually an outside faucet or utility sink -let the water run at full flow until the water runs clear, about 5 to 15 minutes. For further assistance or more information contact your water provider.