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Learn About Fire Hydrant Flushing

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Fire hydrants primarily serve as a means for firefighters to secure a continuous water source for firefighting purposes. Hydrants also play a role in the operation and maintenance of the water system, including allowing workers to flush water mains when necessary.

Hydrant Flushing Program

The Public Works Department typically conducts its two-week Hydrant Flushing Program in the early fall. Crews inspect, operate, and flush every one of the over 1,700 Village-owned hydrants on the water system. To minimize inconvenience to our water customers, crews conduct main flushing during the later evening hours when water demand is typically its lowest. Crews will post hydrant-flushing signs in the service area where they are working to notify residents that flushing will occur that evening. The annual hydrant program is a standard water utility practice that ensures safe, clean, and clear water throughout the year.

Fire hydrants are flushed in order to remove iron oxide and other naturally occurring minerals that have settled at the bottom of water mains during periods of low water demand. These minerals are the reason for occasional incidents of discolored water. Our crews solve this problem by opening hydrants to allow water pressure to flush out oxides and sediment until the discoloration disappears.

How does this program impact me?

Because the Village’s water system is close-looped, every household, business and industry may be impacted, regardless of the location of the flushing.

Village water customers are cautioned that during water main flushing:

  • A temporary drop in water pressure and discolored water may be experienced.
  • Clothes should not be laundered during these hours to prevent the likelihood of stains.
  • Run cold water to clear up any discoloration that may still exist. Discoloration may persist for a few days after flushing is completed.

The program also allows employees to inspect each hydrant for proper operation and make immediate minor repairs. Any hydrant found inoperable will be bagged and tagged so the fire district knows it is out-of-order. A work order is then generated to make needed repairs, which frequently includes excavating the hydrant and/or valve.

How do I report a hydrant issue?

If you have additional questions or if you observe a hydrant that appears to be damaged or leaking, contact the Public Works Department at (630) 871-6260.