Fire Hydrant Maintenance Program

Public safety is a big part of Louisville Water Company’s work. There are over 24,000 fire hydrants serviced throughout the year by dedicated maintenance crews. The testing typically occurs April through October and peaks during summer months. During the winter, our crews provide special attention to hydrants to prevent freezing.

The tests help determine if each hydrant has sufficient flow for firefighting. The hydrants are also flushed to remove sediment. When our crews “flush” the hydrants, we use a large amount of water and pressure. Residents in the nearby area may notice a temporary discoloration or slight metallic taste in their drinking water — this is NOT a health issue. The water will clear on its own within a few hours after we complete the testing.

Help us by ensuring there are no barriers, like landscaping or decorations, within 15 feet of the hydrant. This allows crews to easily access the hydrant without causing damage. To learn more about property owner responsibilities regarding fire hydrants, check with your county for specific ordinances.

Click the link to learn more about Louisville Metro Fire Hydrant Ordinance [pdf].

Signs that fire hydrant testing is happening in your area:

  • Fire, Louisville Water, or Public Works vehicles on your street
  • Water on the ground around the hydrant
  • Slightly discolored water
  • Air sputtering from the faucet

If you notice discoloration or a slight distaste in your tap water from hydrant testing, please take the following steps:

  • Turn on the cold water in all your faucets and let it run for few minutes. If you live on a cul-de-sac or dead-end, it may take a little longer for the water to return to normal.
  • Avoid washing light colored laundry until the water clears. If you notice staining, rewash with a cold water detergent and do NOT use bleach — it can set stains when clothes are dried.

If the flushing is causing a safety issue or property damage, customers can call (502) 569-3676