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Hydrant flushing is simply the periodic opening of a fire hydrant nozzle and valve to allow water to flow from the hydrant.
Flushing of hydrants is necessary to promote water quality and test hydrants for pressure and flow. Chlorine residuals in the water distribution system can drop drastically at certain times during the year. Maintaining good chlorine residual levels is essential to ensuring proper system disinfection and is required by law. Flushing the system helps to maintain these residuals, particularly in areas with long residence times (i.e. water that spends a long time in the pipe before being used).
In addition, fire hydrants can be flushed to analyze the flow and pressure in an area. These tests are often performed by Fire Department personnel and are typically done for insurance rating purposes.
It depends. Flushing is performed until the chlorine residual is brought to an acceptable level. On large lines at the far reaches of a water system in the hottest summer months, this can take hours every day.
Looping lines in the distribution system will significantly reduce the amount of flushing required for water quality purposes. The Town is currently considering several projects in its Water and Sewer Capital Improvement Plan to address these issues in several areas.
Absolutely not! The quantity and cost of the water used are insignificant when compared to the benefits of assuring you quality drinking water.
Because the Town’s water distribution system is still growing it contains many “dead end” mains (i.e. lines not connected to other lines that create loops). The manpower requirements to properly flush the system were significantly reduced with the installation of the flushers. These flushers will be in service mainly during the peak times of the year.