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.
...or if you experience water quality problems lasting more than four hours following hydrant flushing, contact us at 924-8000.