Water department begins annual hydrant flushing

Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - City of Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities (BOPU) crews will test and flush fire hydrants beginning Thursday, March 27, 2014.
During the next week, crews will flush hydrants in neighborhoods west of Interstate 25. Crews will also flush hydrants in neighborhoods south of Interstate 80 and west of Walterscheid Boulevard. Due to the hydrant flushing, homes and businesses in these areas may temporarily experience discolored water. While the discolored water is not at Cheyenne’s usual standard of water quality, it continues to be safe.

Customers experiencing rusty or discolored water should run cold water from a faucet or outside hose for a couple of minutes to clear the water. If the water doesn’t clear after about 15 minutes, call the BOPU at 637-6471.

While water crews are working in their neighborhoods, customers should watch for discolored water and avoid using hot water or doing laundry if the water is discolored. This will help keep sediment from being drawn into the water heater or onto clothes. When the water flows clear again, normal water use may resume.

The system-wide flushing is preventative maintenance used to improve water quality and flow rates prior to summer use. Releasing water at high velocities from hydrants scours and scrubs water mains. This dislodges films, removes sediments and deposits, and helps control corrosion. Because it scours and scrubs water mains, hydrant flushing may temporarily result in rusty or discolored water. The rusty color means the hydrant flushing is working.

While flushing hydrants, crews will also test pressures and flow rates. Working and testing the hydrants makes sure they are ready, if needed, to protect the community from fires. The results of these tests will be used to mark hydrants so firefighters can quickly identify flow capabilities.

In addition to improving flows and water quality, the hydrant flushing helps keep insurance premiums for Cheyenne’s residents manageable. The flow rates and pressure information collected while testing hydrants is used by the Insurance Service Office to rate Cheyenne’s fire suppression abilities. Better ratings result in lower commercial and residential insurance premiums.

Cheyenne has over 3,000 fire hydrants. Crews expect to all of the hydrants this year, an effort that will take approximately a month.

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