Fire Hydrant Flushing

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WW-INQUIRY: Fire Hydrant Flushing

Every year, the City conducts fire hydrant flushing from April through October. Part of routine maintenance on the water distribution system, flushing verifies proper operation of the hydrants in case of fire, to prevent water stagnation and to help prevent recurring discolored water events.

Where does fire hydrant flushing occur?

Due to the size of South Bend's water distribution system and the number of hydrants it contains, not all fire hydrants are flushed every year. Fire hydrants at the end of water mains are flushed annually. Other fire hydrant flushing will occur in different parts of the city each year depending on need and other projects being carried out in the area.

If you live in an apartment or work in an area where the hydrants are privately owned, you will need to speak to management about having those hydrants flushed.

What should I do if I experience discolored water when hydrants are being flushed?

During hydrant flushing, tap water may temporarily appear red, brown or blackish in color. If this happens, open three cold water faucets and let them run for 10 minutes or until the water clears. If possible, wait until the hydrants near you are done being flushed to do this. If faucets seem clogged or running slowly, remove screens and rinse out.  Check washing machines and ice makers for any sediment before using.


What if my water pressure changes while fire hydrants are being flushed?

Water pressure may fluctuate some during fire hydrant flushing. This is only temporary and regular water pressure will resume once the flushing period is complete.  

How do I get more information on fire hydrant flushing?

For more information on fire hydrant flushing, call 311.

For 311:

If customers have additional questions about fire hydrant flushing, forward water quality related calls to 9670 and distribution system maintenance related calls to 9464.