City of American Falls begins bi-annual fire hydrant flushing

The American Falls Water Department will begin its bi-annual fire hydrant flushing on Monday, April 6. Hydrant flushing will continue on a weekly basis through the month of April and May.

This bi-annual maintenance is performed to remove minerals and sediment that accumulate in the water lines over the course of a year. This preventative maintenance also allows us to check and record water pressure and flows to ensure the water system is functioning properly, it also allows us to check our isolation valves to ensure they are working properly, said water superintendent Pete Cortez.

During the hydrant flushing, water department staff do their best to direct the water flow away from homes and or business, which usually means the water is going on the street and down the storm drain system, said Cortez. “You may observe a fire hydrant with water being discharged out of the side opening. If you do please stay clear from it, as some hydrants may be very high in pressure and velocity, which can cause damage to your vehicle. At times you may experience low or no water; this will only be temporary as we exercise our gate valves.”

On occasion, the water in your home may have an orange or rusty appearance. The water is safe to use and drink. The discoloration is caused by the iron sediment in the water main being disturbed by the hydrant flushing.

If this occurs, please run your cold water for several minutes to clear your lines, said Cortez. You should also flush your toilets once or twice. The water should run clear within a few minutes.

“It may appear that flushing hydrants is a waste of water, it is not. As part of our duties to you the consumer we consider the flushing program a huge part of ensuring we are providing safe drinking water 24-7,” said Cortez. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience.”

Anyone with questions or concerns regarding the hydrant flushing process may call Water/Wastewater Superintendent Pete Cortez at city hall at 226-2569.

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