Why are hydrants flushed? Twinsburg Fire Department explains

Why are hydrants flushed? Twinsburg Fire Department explains
Twinsburg Fire is about to start flushing some 1,900 hydrants. (Sourec: Twinsburg Fire Department)

TWINSBURG, OH (WOIO) - In the spring it's not uncommon to see signs posted in your community informing you the fire department will be flushing the hydrants.

Or you might even see firefighters in the process of flushing them, letting water gush out.

Why they do it

Twinsburg Assistant Fire Chief Steven Bosso explained it's an important process they do once a year to the roughly 1,900 hydrants in Twinsburg and Twinsburg Township.

"We'd rather find a bad hydrant during this procedure than during a fire," Bosso said.

It's not just about making sure the hydrant works and water is actually available.

"We remove and inspect all caps for ease of turn, undamaged threads and a working gasket, then grease each outlet before recapping and flushing. We also note any problems (like difficulty opening or closing valves, how fast the hydrant drains, etc.) and pass them on to Cleveland Water, who makes the repairs," he said.

Why can it sometimes discolor your water?

In the case of the Twinsburg Facebook post they warn, "Should the water in your home become discolored, run the water until clear," but it's not just dirt.

"More pipe sediment than dirt," Bosso said. "Those hydrant valves are sitting there all year waiting for us to  open them and since the pipe between the main and the hydrant is 'dry' to prevent freezing in winter, the water flow stirs up the sediment and sometimes it'll get to the domestic lines."

Isn't this just wasting water?

There will be some who see this as a waste of water but Bosso can explain how it really isn't.

"Well, it comes from Lake Erie and it looks to be full at this point. Besides, we send it right back there by way of storm water management, Tinkers Creek and the Cuyahoga River. So it's sort of recycled," he said.

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