At times residents may notice crews working at fire hydrants and see water running into the street may think that CPU is wasting water. The process of periodically “flushing” fire hydrants, however, is a necessary preventive maintenance activity. This process is part of a required maintenance program to maintain the integrity of the water system and to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers. Flushing activity is used for two general purposes: Water Quality and Hydrant Maintenance.
Flushing the water system on a regular basis removes sediment from lines and keeps the entire distribution system refreshed. CPU maintains miles of water lines throughout its service area, which includes the City of Clarksdale and areas outside the city limits. The hydrant may be turned on and the system flushed on an as-needed basis as well. Customers may experience discolored water as a result of sediment in the lines, and flushing the hydrant usually resolves those issues.
Every fire hydrant is flushed annually for preventative maintenance to ensure proper operation and available flow. Annual hydrant testing involves opening the hydrant enough to ensure there are no restrictions in the hydrant or piping, so that it is useable by the fire department if needed. The entire flushing usually lasts only minutes. Hydrants also are tested when first installed and for insurance and design purposes.
When maintenance is performed, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration primarily consists of harmless silt and precipitates and does not affect the safety of the water. If you experience discoloration in your water after crews have been flushing in your neighborhood, clear the pipes in your own home by running all water faucets, starting with faucets outside first, for a minute or two. If you experience any more issues after this, please give us a call.
Extreme Cold Weather
Note: During extremely cold weather, lines may be flushed more often, and even left open for extended periods of time, to ensure they don’t freeze. This practice also ensures that customers are able to get water during these temperatures (provided that the lines in their homes or businesses are also left dripping and remain thawed and functional).
This same philosophy of water line preventive maintenance is one that you should use in your own home. Your home’s water heater should be drained and flushed at least once a year to keep it working efficiently and to protect the quality of water inside your home. Also, if you go out of town and there is no water use in your home for a week or more, it’s always a good idea to run all your faucets for a minute or so before using the water when you return. This ensures that you do not use any stagnant water that may have developed in your home’s pipes while you were away.
Questions about water line flushing can be directed to Customer Service Representatives by calling (662) 627-8499.
*information about water system flushing provided by the City of Tampa website