Hydrant Flushing & Testing
On a biannual basis, City of Elkins opens fire hydrants to flush water lines of accumulated sediments that can cause discoloration in customers’ homes and other buildings. To flush the lines, water system workers systematically open fire hydrants and let the water flow at full force until water appears clear in a white paper cup.
After flushing is complete in a given section of the city, the Elkins Fire Department may perform flow testing on each hydrant to verify that they are operating according to specifications. Although flow testing only requires hydrants to be open for a few minutes, it takes longer than flushing because each hydrant must be tested. Flushing does not require opening every hydrant, because many sit near each other on the same line.
Discoloration Related to Flushing and Flow Testing
Even though the overall goal of the flushing is to reduce sediment in water lines, customers in or near a section of the city that is being flushed may temporarily experience heightened discoloration in their water. This does not indicate that the water is unsafe to drink, cook with, or bathe in, but it would be advisable to avoid doing laundry until any remaining sediment has settled once again. If you experience laundry staining, Elkins City Hall offers a free mineral-stain remover that is available on request at the front desk on the first floor.
Customers experiencing cloudy or discolored water can try leaving taps open in a bathtub or sink for 20 minutes. It is important not to run hot water, however, as that would fill the building’s water heater with water that contains sediments.