What is water system flushing?

Hydrant flushing is simply the periodic opening of a fire hydrant nozzle and valve to allow water to flow from the hydrant.

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1. What is water system flushing?
2. Why is flushing necessary?
3. How often/long are the hydrants supposed to be flushed?
4. What are the alternatives to flushing?
5. Is flushing wasting water?
6. Why has the Town installed automatic hydrant flushers?