You have probably seen it many times and thought to yourself, “what a waste of good clean water!” While it may seem like a waste of good clean water, the flushing of hydrants is essential to keeping your water safe and maintain the integrity of the City of Alamogordo pipe system. Flushing hydrants can be done to not only test the fire flow capacity, but also to remove sediment and rust from the water, or to maintain proper chlorine concentrations in your zone.
The main objective of water main flushing is to clean the pipes & improve water quality. Water main flushing is an important preventive maintenance task that:
- Verifies proper operation of the fire hydrants
- Circulates chlorinated water into areas of lower demand
- Evaluates the available flow to the hydrant
- Decreases Total Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic acids disinfection by-products
- Allows the city to deliver the highest quality of water possible to our customers
- Removes mineral and sediment buildup from the water mains
Can I drink from the tap during hydrant flushing?
During flushing, it is possible you may receive discolored water. We ask customers to avoid using discolored water. The water is safe from harmful bacteria but unpleasant for consumption and use. While it may not be visually appealing, it is safe to drink and continues to meet all federal and state drinking water standards. There are no health hazards associated with discolored water.
What should I do if flushing is happening in my neighborhood?
The main impact of hydrant flushing is discolored water. Here is 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
- If you encounter discolored water following hydrant flushing, run the cold water taps throughout your home for five to 10 minutes or until the water runs clear. This allows discolored water to work its way out of your household plumbing
- Do not do laundry while hydrant flushing is taking place. The discolored water can sometimes stain fabrics. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap before using your washing machine. After your water clears wash a load of dark clothes first
- 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