Hot Topics - Hydrant flushing

Waconia Utilities Department usually flushes hydrants twice per ear, in the spring and the fall. Flushing hydrants typically takes about two months to complete. As a result of the flushing procedure, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary discoloration of their water. This discoloration primarily consists of naturally occurring minerals, harmless silt, and precipitates. It does not impact the safety of the water. 

hydrant flushing photo

Why Are We Flushing?

Water moves slowly through the underground water distribution system. The slow movement causes sediment like rust and minerals to build up over time and accumulate along the inside of the water pipes. Brown water is typically iron and manganese that is showing up in the system. Flushing of the fire hydrants increases the movement or velocity of the water through the water mains, thus it helps to remove any sediment from the water mains and assures consistent water quality. Additionally, as part of the flushing process, every fire hydrant in the water system is operated to ensure that it will operate property in the event of a fire. 

​Isn't Flushing a Waste of Water?

Residents who notice Waconia's utilities crew working at fire hydrants and see water running into the street may think that the city is ignoring its own philosophy on conserving water. The process of periodically flushing fire hydrants, however, is an important preventive maintenance activity. Although it may appear to waste water this process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers. 

What Should I do if my Water is Discolored?

If this discoloration occurs, simply run your cold water faucets for about 5 minutes to make sure the water is clear. If it doesn't clear up after a few minutes, wait for an extended period of time (up to two hours) and try running the cold faucets again. IF the water does not clear up within two hours, please notify the City of Waconia Utilities Department. It is recommended that you don't do laundry during flushing periods to avoid staining clothing, particularly white clothing. 

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