Hydrant Flushing and Waterline Maintenance
Commencing June 19, 2023
You may notice Public Works crews working at fire hydrants and see water running down the street. Normally in the spring, we flush water lines through the use of fire hydrants, which is an important preventive maintenance activity. Although it may appear to waste water, the process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and allowing us to ensure the hydrants are in proper working order. Hydrants that are found to not be in working order are tagged and submitted for repair.
As a result of the line flushing process, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and air and does not affect the safety of the water. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighbourhood, clear the pipes in your home by running all water faucets for a few minutes.
The same philosophy of water line and hydrant preventive maintenance is one that you should use in your own home to ensure the quality of water inside your home. Your home’s water heater should be drained and flushed on a regular basis, according to manufacturers’ recommendations, to keep it working effectively and efficiently.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Why does the water system need to be routinely flushed?
A: The Town's water distribution system is a complex network of pipes and storage reservoir where sediment or deposits may naturally accumulate over time. If not removed, these materials may cause water quality deterioration, taste and odor problems, or discoloration of the water. Water may also stagnate in lesser used parts of the distribution system. This can result in degraded water quality.
Q: When does flushing normal occur?
A: Normally, flushing takes place for approximately a one week period during early spring. In an effort to cause fewer disturbances to our customers, crews from the Public Works flush the lines between the hours of 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Mon-Fri.
Q: What should I do when I see Public Works crews flushing hydrants in my area?
A: If you see a Public Works crew flushing hydrants, PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY.
Q: What should I do after the flushing?
A: If the tap water is used during flushing, it could come out with sediment and 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 not, wait a few more minutes and check again. In some cases, you may experience slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.
Q: What should I do if my water pressure or volume seems low after flushing?
A: Check your faucet and washer screens for trapped debris.
Q: Why does the water look funny after hydrant flushing?
A: When a hydrant is opened, there will always be temporary incidences of discoloured water containing fine sediment particles. There is no health hazard associated with discoloured water. Allow a few hours for discoloration to dissipate. To verify the water has settled, allow your cold water tap to run a few minutes. If the discoloration persists for more than twenty-four (24) hours, please contact Bruderheim Public Works.
Q: Is it OK to drink sediment-laden or discoloured water during temporary disturbance events?
A: It is recommended that water users wait until the water has cleared before using it for potable purposes.
Q: What is the silt in the water system after flushing?
A: Water contains minerals and these minerals react with the inside of the pipe to produce the by-product. This chemical reaction between the pipe and water is a normal and natural process. This process can occur on the inside of the pipe and prevent an adequate volume of water flow. The flushing process removes much of this by-product which is why it is done annually.