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DEPARTMENT OF WATER SERVICES
Water Distribution Division
FIRE HYDRANT FLUSHING AND FLOW TESTING
When a worker fully opens a fire hydrant for the flushing process, the following are checked and recorded:
Visible and audible leaks
Proper operation of valve
Flushing out corrosion & rust
Turbidity testing - tests amount of dirt in water
Color of the water
PH test of water in main - identifies a potential problem with waterline
Chlorine level before and after flushing - identifies organic contamination in line
Flow of gallons per minute
If ignored, corrosion and rust can cause problems such as: severe rusty water, reduced water pressure or lower chlorine levels. Replacing water that has been standing in the system with fresh water is especially important in dead end main areas and low flow areas in the system. Flushing one fire hydrant may cost between $30 - $50, which includes wages, water cost and equipment. The cost of flushing fire hydrants is money well-invested. So, the next time you see a City worker flushing a hydrant, you can rest assured that they are working hard to protect the safety of the public, improve water quality and properly maintain the water distribution system.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Why is the water pressure low?
Your water pressure may be low as flushing may lower the water pressure in the area being tested.
Why is my water discolored?
Customers may experience a temporary discoloration of water, which is due to the unsettling of rust in the water main.
What should I do about the discolored water?
Run the cold water for about five minutes - this should clear up the water.
My clothes have been discolored from the rust, what should I do?
You should clean them with a rust remover. Bottles of rust remover can be obtained from the Sandusky Customer Accounting Office located at City Hall.
Is the water safe to drink?
Yes. If the water would be unsafe to drink for any reason, a boil alert will be issued.
If you would like further information about this topic, please feel free to contact Doug Keller, Water Services Manager at 419.627.5815.