Phillipsburg City Minute
Fire Hydrant Flushing
April 12, 2018
Have you ever been driving around and noticed a City worker standing by a fire hydrant with water gushing out of it? The workers you see flushing fire hydrants work for the Phillipsburg Water Department, and they are trained in sound and proven water system maintenance practices. Flushing fire hydrants are one of the most important maintenance practices that can be performed on a water distribution system.
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 Water pressure
Color of the water 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.
FIRE HYDRANT FLOW TESTING
Flow testing of fire hydrants is done to identify the amount of water a certain fire hydrant can deliver during an emergency situation. This service is done on a continuing basis so that problems can be identified and then eliminated. All hydrants will be color coded so that Fire Department personnel can identify what gallons per minute an individual fire hydrant can deliver.
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.
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 Tim Driggs, Public Works Supervisor at 785-543-5234.