Liquid News

Hydrant Flush Ensures Quality of Drinking Water

Water mains need a good flushing every once in a while to keep them clean. It’s a process that raises eyebrows—seeing precious water rushing from fire hydrants into the street—but it’s a necessary part of the preventative maintenance of our drinking water system. “This process maintains the integrity of the system so we can continue delivering the highest quality water possible,” said IRWD Director of Water Operations Tom Roberts.

Flushing scours the interior of pipes by sending a rapid flow of water through the mains. IRWD began the program in 1993, flushing hydrants one neighborhood at a time. With 1,900 miles of drinking water pipeline, it’s a never-ending process. Water mains more than 12 inches in diameter are flushed annually. Smaller mains are cleaned every three years.

During the flushing process, residents in the immediate vicinity might experience temporary discoloration of their water caused by harmless deposits, which do not affect the safety of the water. If you experience discolored water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear your home’s pipes by running all of your faucets for a minute or two

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