Fire Hydrant Flushing
Each hydrant is thoroughly inspected and operated. Flow readings are taken to evaluate system capability to provide sufficient water supply. Low flows may indicate a water main valve is closed or not operating properly. Large volumes of water are moved through the mains during flushing which pressure cleans the internal walls of the piping and increases the main’s longevity.
The water pumping stations also benefit from hydrant flushing. As large volumes of water are flowed through the system, the water storage tanks’ levels will fluctuate more than they normally do. This allows the water operators to check pressure adjusting and pumping stations’ ability to respond to these pressure fluctuations and gain an overall picture of system performance during a peak usage event.
Lombard Public Works Department to Conduct Spring Hydrant Flushing
Lombard Public Works will begin the annual spring fire hydrant flushing program during the week of April 23, 2018. Over 2,700 hydrants will be flushed over the course of the following six weeks. The program is a vital part of the Village’s water pumping and water distribution system maintenance.
During flushing, each hydrant is thoroughly inspected and operated. Flow readings are taken to evaluate system capability to provide sufficient water supply. Any low flows found may indicate that a water main valve is closed or not operating properly. Flushing also scours the internal walls of the pipes and pulls fresh water into the distribution system.
The water pumping stations also benefit from hydrant flushing. As large volumes of water are moved through the system, the storage tank levels fluctuate. This allows the water operators to check Village’s pumping stations’ ability to respond to pressure fluctuations and to understand system performance during peak usage.
During nearby hydrant flushing, residents may experience the following conditions: a temporary drop in water pressure, a reddish color in water caused by iron deposits, and cloudy or “milky” water caused by undissolved oxygen that dissipates within a few minutes. These conditions do not affect the quality and safety of the water.
For discolored or cloudy water, shut off the water and wait several minutes, then run the cold water for up to a few minutes until clear. Avoid doing laundry during hydrant flushing as white clothes may become stained if the water is not properly cleared first. Wash a load of dark clothes first before doing a load of white clothes. If water pressure or flow seems low, check the faucet aerator screen for sediment. Routine flushing each morning for a few minutes is also a good practice for buildings with lead service lines.
When a flushing crew is seen nearby, it is best to avoid running tap water and washing clothes until the flushing is completed. Drive carefully around any open running hydrant, watch for Public Works personnel, and keep children away from open hydrants.
Map of 2018 Hydrant Flushing