Hydrant Flushing Information
City of Bedford
Hydrant Flushing and Waterline Maintenance
You may notice our Fire Department crews working at fire hydrants and see water running down the street. Normally we flush water lines through the use of fire hydrants, which is an important preventive maintenance activity. Although it may appear to waste water, the process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and allowing us to ensure the hydrants are in proper working order. Hydrants that are found to not be in working order are tagged and submitted for further inspection.
As a result of the line flushing process, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and air and does not affect the safety of the water. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear the pipes in your home by running all water faucets for a few minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What should I do when I see Fire crews flushing hydrants in my area?
If you see a Fire crew flushing hydrants, PLEASE SLOW DOWN!
Why does the water system need to be routinely flushed?
The city’s water distribution system is a complex network of pipes where sediment or deposits may naturally accumulate over time. If not removed, these materials may cause water quality deterioration, taste and odor problems, or discoloration of the water. This can result in degraded water quality.
When does the flushing normally occur?
Normally, flushing takes place over approximately a 6 week period. In an effort to cause fewer disturbances to our residents, crews flush the lines between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
Is the Fire Department the only ones that flush the lines?
No, Fire Departments are required to flush hydrants when they are testing hydrants to make sure adequate flow and pressure is available during emergencies. The Water Department may need to flush a hydrant after it is repaired, as well as whenever they need to perform other water distribution repairs.
What should I do after the flushing?
If the tap water is used during flushing, it could come out with sediment and discoloration. 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 into your pipes. In some cases, you may experience slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.
What should I do if my water pressure or volume seems low after flushing?
Check your faucet and washer screens for trapped debris.
Is it OK to drink sediment-laden or discolored water?
It is recommended that water users wait until the water has cleared before using it for potable purposes.
What is the silt in the water system after flushing?
Water contains minerals, and these minerals react with the inside of the pipe to produce the by-product. This chemical reaction between the pipe and water is a normal and natural process. This process can occur on the inside of the pipe and prevent an adequate volume of water flow. The flushing process removes much of this by-product which is why it is done annually.
Thank you for your PATIENCE!