Hydrant Flushing FAQs

Why is hydrant flushing done?

Flushing hydrants helps the Utility remove any iron sediment that accumulates in the water distribution system. Flushing is also an opportunity to ensure that the hydrant is in proper operating condition if necessary to be used by the Fire Department.

When is hydrant flushing done?

Routine hydrant flushing is done twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. Typically late April and early October are the targeted times for this work.

My water is discolored now, what should I do?

In some situations, hydrant flushing can cause the water to become discolored (tea colored or rusty) when iron deposits are disturbed in the system. We advise customers to run their water from a cold tap, preferably a tub or hose bib, for 10 - 15 minutes to clear any discoloration that's present in the service lateral or building's plumbing.

Is it safe to drink?

Yes. The Utility is required to test for contaminants on a schedule established by the Wisconsin DNR, Safe Drinking Water Act and the EPA to ensure the water is safe for consumption by customers. Standards for iron are enforced for aesthetic consideration only (taste, color, smell) and although the water may become discolored during flushing operations, it is not harmful for use.

Tips for Customers during flushing operations

  • If possible, limit your water use while crews are flushing in your area.

  • Remember that rusty water is safe for use, but avoid doing white laundry on days when crews have done flushing in your area.

  • If you have experienced discolored water and have a softener, schedule it to regenerate that day.

  • If you have any other questions or concerns about hydrant flushing and your water, contact the Utility Commission office at 262-248-2311. Office hours are 7:30 am - 4 pm, Monday - Friday.