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FAQs About Hydrant Flushing

What is flushing the water system? 

 It is when we literally flush the water mains (pipelines) to remove accumulated minerals (like iron and manganese) from the system. This is accomplished by opening fire hydrants in a specific area, sending massive currents of water speeding through the pipes, flushing any accumulation from the pipes and out the hydrant.

Why is flushing necessary? 

Imagine driving down the road at about 1 or 2 miles an hour — the rate water normally moves through pipes in the winter when water demand is typically low. This slow movement allows minerals to build up over time, accumulating along the inside circumference of the pipes. Our field technicians “pick up the speed of the water’s flow” by flushing these water thoroughfares (pipelines) in order to help scour the pipes of minerals.

Do other public water providers flush their pipelines? 

Like us, most public water providers utilize some type of flushing program — it’s simply one of the safest and best ways to maintain water quality and delivery reliability.

Can local construction cause the system to flush? 

Yes, if a construction worker opens a fire hydrant too fast, it can cause the same sort of flushing effect as we perform in the surrounding area. If this happens and you experience any water discoloration, please try running your cold water until it flows clear, and if the problem persists for more than a reasonable amount of time, please contact us.

When does water system flushing occur? 

Flushing is normally a spring or an early summertime task, performed just as residents move outdoors, drawing more water to meet irrigation and recreational needs. Without flushing, these residents might find their in-home tap water discolored or water flow restricted. If, however, you experience water discoloration at other times, please let us know, and we will send out a field technician to help solve the problem.

What if my cold water runs clear, but my hot water is discolored? 

If this occurs, we suggest draining and refilling the hot water tank. Most manufactures of hot water heaters recommend annually draining your heater to flush out any accumulated minerals. Make sure to do this cautiously and follow all your manufacturer’s warnings to avoid getting burned, damaging your equipment or voiding your warranty.

Does RoxWater monitor the water’s quality during the flushing process? 

Yes, our field technicians will collect a water sample to verify water quality during the flushing of an event of water discoloration.

What should I do when I see RoxWater’s crew flushing hydrants in my area? 

Please drive carefully and understand that our crews are maintaining your water system to help guarantee the delivery of quality water and to increase the life of the pipeline system. And, if you get the chance, thanking them is always nice, too.



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