Hydrant flushing begins May 6th

The City of Philomath will begin cleaning the water system by flushing hydrants intermittently beginning May 6, 2024.  This involves flowing the fire hydrants to create high water flows that will scour out fine sediment particles.  This work is being done as part of our on-going effort to deliver the safest and highest possible quality water to you.  We will also make sure hydrants and valves are in good condition. Hydrant flushing is anticipated to take approximately two weeks.

Hydrant Flushing Frequently Asked Questions:

Why is hydrant flushing necessary?
Hydrant flushing enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the mainline pipes, verifies the proper operation of hydrants and valves, and maintains firefighting capability.

What should I do when hydrants are being flushed in my area?
If you see a crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or the dishwasher until the flushing is done. If you see hydrant flushing crews working in the area, please drive carefully and treat them like any other road construction crew.

What should I do after hydrant flushing?

• If tap water is used during flushing, it could come out full of sediment that causes discoloration. If you encounter discolored water, shut the water off and wait several minutes. After waiting, check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes, allowing new water to work its way into your pipes. If the water is clear, it’s OK to use. If not, wait a few more minutes and check again. In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours. This discoloration only affects the appearance of the water; it does not affect the taste or water quality.

• Avoid washing laundry during scheduled flushing times. Wait until the water runs clear at the tap, then wash a load of dark clothes first.

• If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped particles.

Why does my water look funny after hydrant flushing?
When a hydrant is opened, there will be temporary incidences of discolored water while fine sediment particles are flushed out. There is no health hazard associated with the discolored water. Allow a few hours for discoloration to dissipate. To verify water is clear, run your cold-water tap for a few minutes.

For more information, call the Public Works Department at 541-929-3579.