Hydrant Flushing

What’s happening?
The Town of Peterborough is using fire hydrants to discharge a large volume of water from the water system. 

Why flush fire hydrants?
1) To clean water lines
2) To ensure hydrants are working properly

By discharging a large volume of water through a fire hydrant, water flow within the pipeline is increased. This increased flow actually scours the inside of the pipeline, removing and then transporting silt, rust and mineral deposits out of the water system. In addition, this process provides the Town with the opportunity to assess the general condition of the hydrant. 

Can I drink from the tap during hydrant flushing?
As water is flushed through water lines and out the hydrant, silt and mineral sediment can cause water to become discolored. Although the water may not be visually appealing, it is safe to drink and continues to meet all federal and state drinking water standards. There is no health hazard associated with the discolored water. 

How long does hydrant flushing take?
Fire hydrant flushing typically takes 15 minutes to several hours, but discolored water may last up to 4 hours. 

How does hydrant flushing affect me? 
The main impact of hydrant flushing is discolored water. Here’s what you should do if hydrant flushing is taking place in your neighborhood: 

  • If possible, avoid using water while the hydrant flushing is taking place. By not taking water from the tap or running appliances that use water (dishwashers and washing machines), you can prevent discolored water from entering your household plumbing altogether.
  • Don’t do laundry while hydrant flushing is taking place. The discolored water can sometimes stain fabrics. Wait until water runs clear at the tap before using your washing machine, and wash a load of dark clothes first. Rust will stain light colored laundry. When hydrants near you are being tested, please be sure that both your cold and hot water are rust-free before you launder any whites. In the event that such staining occurs, there is a remedy. Most grocery and hardware stores carry laundry aids which remove rust stains.
  • If you encounter discolored water follow­ing hydrant flushing, run the cold water taps throughout your home (bathroom sinks and tubs, kitchen faucets, etc.) for 5 to 10 minutes or until water clears. This allows discolored water to work its way out of your household plumbing.  Better yet, collect it and use it to water your lawn or your plants.  They don't mind a bit.
  • If, after hydrant flushing, your water pres­sure or volume seems low, clean faucet screens to remove silt and mineral sediment that could be obstructing water flow.
For more information…
...or if you experience water quality problems lasting more than four hours following hydrant flushing, contact us at 924-8000. 

New Meter Information

Click on the image on the left to enlarge it.

The Town of Peterborough is responsible for the highlighted items on this picture.

The customer is responsible for the integrity of everything else shown (pipe from curb stop valve to the water meter and everything inside the residence other than the water meter).

The customer is also responsible for providing a clean, dry, above freezing and accessible location for the water meter.

New Meter Installation Diagram

Click on image to the left to enlarge it.
  1. First ball valve before water meter
  2. Meter to be supplied by Peterborough Utility Division
  3. Dual check valve after water meter
  4. Pressure reducer after dual check valve (if required – Check with Utility Division)
  5. Second ball valve after pressure reducer
  6. Expansion tank on cold water inlet side of hot water tank
  7. Remote will be installed near sidewalk or driveway


The customer is responsible for the following:

  1. Ball valve before and after the meter
  2. Dual check valve
  3. Pressure reducer
  4. Expansion tank
  5. Meter couplings/meter horn

Connection Fees

Town of Peterborough



Utilities Department: Fee Schedule




Water Service Access Fees


Wastewater Access Fees








5/8"; 3/4"






1 1/2"












Special Meter Reading











With 5 Day Notice






Without 5 Day Notice




Meter Testing


Misc. Fees/Fines








5/8" + 3/4"



Water Turn On






Water Turn Off



1 1/2"



Min. Construction Charge






Water Service Inspection






Sewer Service Inspection




New Meter Installation




Back Flow Testing

69.50 (twice per year)



Unauthorized Water Use

693 (fine)


Meter Setting/Resetting


Private Hydrant






Public Hydrant

Per Quote





Freeze Plate & Gasket







List Price


Town of Peterborough - 1 Grove Street - Peterborough, NH 03458 - (603)924-8000