Fire hydrants are used to flush water to maintain water quality standards. The challenge we face is that our citizens are doing a great job conserving water, which creates the unintended consequence of water sitting in the distribution lines. When water sits too long during the extremely hot months, the chemistry (chlorination level) changes and the water needs to be moved through the lines. Use of the fire hydrants allows the city to respond to issues in targeted locations where water chemistry has become a concern and we are able to closely track the number of gallons we must flush in order to maintain our water quality.
The City tested a water restriction holiday to try to alleviate the need to flush water and allow citizens extra time to water their lawns. The result was not what the city hoped for. As mentioned previously, flushing allows the City to quickly move water in a targeted location. The water restriction holiday did not move enough water in the targeted areas to eliminate the need to continue flushing. The City staff is focused on potential solutions to assist in maintaining water quality, since we know that from now on we will always be under some form of water restrictions in order to conserve as much of our water resources as possible.
We realize this is not an ideal solution, but maintaining water quality standards for safety is critically important. We are trying to balance encouraging conservation and maintaining water quality at the same time and, unfortunately, sometimes flushing lines is necessary.Learn more about the necessity of hydrant flushing