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Public Works to Begin Annual Waterline Flushing and Fire Hydrant Maintenance Program


By City of Hutchinson Public Works Department


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Beginning October 16th and lasting through November, the City of Hutchinson Public Works Department will be working to complete the annual waterline flushing and fire hydrant maintenance program. 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 a faucet without a strainer such as a bathtub faucet or outdoor spigot for several minutes and it will eventually return to a clear color. Flushing waterlines is a normal, preventive maintenance procedure that helps improve water quality. Fire hydrants are operated, inspected, and maintained during the flushing process to ensure that all hydrants on the system are in good working condition.

Public Works Department personnel will be flushing Monday through Thursday from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from about 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in various parts of the city. Weather and emergency waterline break dependent schedules will be posted on the City’s social media pages. If the discoloration lasts longer than a few hours or you have any questions, please contact the Water Department at (620) 694-1900.

Frequently asked questions:

Why do we flush the water system?

Flushing is done to ensure the hydrants operate properly.  Like most water valves, fire hydrants need to be exercised periodically. The water-distribution system is also flushed to remove settled particles such as iron and sediment accumulation in the waterlines. This helps to reduce discolored water in the system.

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

You may 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.  Public Works Department recommends 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.

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.