Why Are Hydrants Flushed?
Periodically, you will see Public Works personnel releasing water from hydrants. Hydrant flushing is necessary to test the hydrants to make sure adequate flow and pressure is available. Flushing is also done to remove sediment from the pipes in order to maintain water clarity and quality in the distribution pipes.
Fire Department and Public Works Department personnel routinely use hydrants to make assessments as to whether adequate pressure and flow are available to satisfy normal system demands as well as the increased demand required in the event of a fire. These actions, as well as some construction activities, may result in brief periods during which you may observe moderate discoloration in your tap water.
Discolored Tap Water
Your water is safe to drink. Occasionally, water becomes discolored after hydrant flushing. If this happens, run your cold water tap for a few minutes until the water clears. If it doesn't clear the first time, wait a few minutes and run the water again. You should avoid washing clothes until the water clears.
In the late fall and winter months the water that enters your homes can be quite cold. When this cold water enters your home plumbing, it is exposed to significantly warmer temperatures. This causes dissolved oxygen that can reach significantly higher levels in colder water than in warmer water that escapes in the form of micro-bubbles. These bubbles can give water a cloudy appearance. If a glass of this water is allowed to sit for a short period of time the cloudy effect will dissipate.