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The City of Blaine Public Works department has started the process of flushing fire hydrants across the city. The work began on May 11 and is expected to take between three and four weeks to complete. Hydrant flushing is a routine maintenance process that involves the systematic flushing of the water distribution lines to remove sediment and improve water quality. When flushing, fire hydrants are opened, increasing the velocity of the water moving through the pipes. This process cleans the pipes and removes the sediments that can affect the taste and color of drinking water. It can cause cloudy or discolored water for a short time.
Residents who are experiencing discolored or cloudy water should wait until the nearby flushing is completed, remove faucet aerators and filters and run cold water for 5-10 minutes. If the water still is not clear, wait 30 minutes and try again. Running the water in a bathtub speeds up the cleaning process and provides a light background to help monitor the discoloration. Another option is to run the garden hose, weather permitting, until the water clears. Though discolored, the water can be used on plants and landscape.
The sediments that get stirred up may not be aesthetically pleasing and can cause the water to discolor and stain laundry. The water is not harmful to drink during this time.
Flushing is an essential preventative maintenance strategy for the water system and also provides an opportunity to inspect the fire hydrants for operation and safety.