Fifteen Minutes of Flushing

Have you ever seen a fire hydrant flushing gallons of water into the street?

It may look odd, but flushing a fire hydrant is a powerful tool used by Louisville Water’s Department of Water Quality.

flushing of a hydrant

Distribution Water Quality Specialist Jerry Logan said flushing the hydrants is especially important during the spring and summer when the weather gets warmer, and after water has been sitting in the hydrant after a long winter.

“High water age and low water usage occurs more frequently in the warmer summer months,” Logan said. “Poor water circulation can be a particular problem at dead-end water mains and behind closed valves.”

On a typical flush, water will run for 10 to 15 minutes.

“When we first open the hydrant, the water can look brackish (yellow) due to high water age. We test for turbidity (clarity) of the water. During the winter, the age of the water in the hydrant can be anywhere from 30 to 40 days because it is just sitting,” Logan said. “We flush because we want the best quality of water flowing through the mains.

Hydrant flushingLouisville Water also flushes hydrants to help Louisville MSD minimize odors caused by dry sewer conditions similar to what some neighborhoods may be experiencing now due to the lack of rainfall. Residents can report sewage odor issues by calling (502) 540-6000. MSD is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, June 26 from 6-7 p.m. at the Western Public Library branch on South 10th Street.

While some residential customers may think that flushing hydrants can cause higher water bills, Louisville Water customers can rest assured that they only pay for water that flows through their meters.

To learn more about Louisville Water’s water quality, tap here.