Hydrant Flushing


Brenden Ashworth
Waste Water Treatment Operator

A technique that is generally used across the country that helps maintain water quality and keep the pipes clean that deliver water to homes and businesses. Unfiltered water systems can accumulate organic material at the bottom which can impact the quality of water and causes discolored water if stirred up. Flushing Hydrants gets rid of that material and brings fresh water.

It may seem as though thousands of gallons are being wasted, but there is actually a few benefits to this process:

  • shows proper operation of the hydrant
  • shows the available flow to the hydrant
  • allows the highest quality water to be delivered to consumers
  • removes the minerals and sediment that is built up in the water mains

Water settles, ages, and is affected by things like biofilm (thin layer of microorganisms) that grow inside distribution pipes. Each can affect the quality of water being supplies, including the taste.

Lose sediment can also build up causing deposits that result in discolored water and reduces capacity. Hydrant Flushing can help remove those sediment and mineral build up, and improve the color, odor, and taste.

The City of Willaina Water Division takes the quality of the city’s water to a high level. Hydrant flushing helps keep the water flowing clean and non-problematic.

What is involved in Hydrant Flushing?

A typical flushing will consist of the water division crew accessing valves in the streets to change how the water flows through the pipes. Some hydrants get turned on a low flow and run for about 30 mins or so.

A large hose will be attached spraying into the roads and some sidewalks so use caution when in those areas.

The water is then tested for chlorine residuals; meaning making sure the water is safe to drink after the lines have been cleaned.

Effects of the Hydrant Flushing and my water?

The only thing you may experience during the process is, a difference in your water pressure from your faucets and some discoloration in the water. But once the process is completed it shouldn’t take long for the water to ready for normal use. Water should run clear within a few minutes. If not, turn your faucet on to cold and let it run for 5 mins or so. Keep running it till you see clear water. If you are still have trouble, please contact the Willamina Water Division.

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