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Fire Hydrant Flow Testing Begins, will Last for Two Weeks


Testing could cause water discoloration, but water remains safe to use

 By the City of Hutchinson Public Works Department


HUTCHINSON, Kan. —The City of Hutchinson Fire Department and the Hutchinson Public Works Water Division will be working together over the next two weeks to complete annual fire hydrant flow testing. Some areas may experience discolored or cloudy water during this time, but this will only be temporary, and the water is safe to use.  Allow the water to run from the faucet for several minutes and it will eventually return to a clear color.

Testing hydrants and flushing water mains is a normal, preventive maintenance procedure to test the water distribution system for fire flows and to improve water quality and safety.  This program is an important part of the City’s ability to provide fire protection service and to ensure that hydrants on the system are in good working condition.

Hutchinson Fire Department and Public Work Water Maintenance personnel will be flow testing Monday through Friday from about 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in primarily the Northeast part of the City. Unfortunately, due to operational requirements, a specific schedule of where and when hydrants will be tested is not available. If the discoloration lasts longer than a few hours or you have any questions, please contact the Water Department at (620) 694-1900

Please note that it is against the law to drive over fire hose. Driving over a fire hose can cause significant damage to the hose and violators can be ticketed.

Frequently asked questions:

Why do we flush the water system?

Testing is done to ensure the hydrants operate properly. Like most water valves, fire hydrants need to be exercised periodically. During testing, fire flows are measured, and maintenance issues are identified. The water-distribution system is also flushed to remove settled particles such as iron and sediment accumulation in the water lines. This helps to reduce discolored water in the system.

Should I use the water during hydrant testing in my neighborhood?

Rarely, customers experience discolored water during and immediately following hydrant testing in your neighborhood. If the system is stirred up when you use water in your home, you could draw the discoloration into your internal plumbing causing discoloration at your faucets, etc. The Fire Department and Public Works Water Division recommend trying not to use the water at all when flushing is occurring on your street and limit activities that cause the greatest discoloration concern such as doing laundry on all dates that the system is flushed.

I did my laundry during the system flush and now it is stained, what do I do?

If the clothes in your washer are stained, do not dry them. Rewash the load when the water is clear. Some customers have used iron removal products in their wash to remove staining. Iron stain removal products can be found in the detergent aisle at most grocery stores.

Do I need to check/run my outside faucet each day of the flush?

It doesn’t hurt to check the outside faucet in the morning. If the water is discolored after running the faucet for several minutes, limit indoor water use.

Can I landscape around the fire hydrant in my yard?

The City’s ordinance states that no landscaping or screening shall be installed in a manner that might impede access by the Fire Department. No tree shall be planted within a distance of ten (10) feet from any fire hydrant. Consideration should be given to plant species that, upon reaching maturity, may block connections.

Call the Water Division at (620) 694-1900 for any additional questions or concerns.