Hydrant Flushing

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Hydrant Flushing

HydrantEach year, the Quakertown Water Department opens fire hydrants throughout the Borough and neighboring service areas and allows the water to flow through the pipes. The hydrant-flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the Borough's water system.

It serves the following purposes:

  • Flushes sediments from mainline pipes (which enhances water quality)
  • Verifies the proper operation of fire hydrants and valves
  • Helps find weaknesses in the water system
  • Checks for closed valves and weak flows in the water mains
  • Verifies ample flow for fire fighting

Hints during Hydrant Flushing

  • There may be a temporary drop in water pressure at this time
  • Water may be rusty or cloudy. Discolored water is not harmful and will clear up in a few hours
  • Fill a bottle with water and store it in the refrigerator to use for drinking or cooking
  • Flush your hot water tanks after the cold water clears
  • Do not wash white laundry during this period (wait until cold AND hot water are clear before laundering whites)

If you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is completed. Also, please drive carefully and treat the crew them like any other road construction crew.

What Should I Do After Hydrant Flushing?

If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out full of sediment that causes 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 to work its way into your pipes. If the water is clear it’s OK to use.  If not, wait a few more minutes and check again.  In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours.  The slight discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; whereas extreme discoloration may affect the taste or water quality.

Avoid washing laundry during flushing times.  Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first.  Hot water tanks can hold discolored water for some time after the cold water runs clear.

If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped particles.