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May 11, 2023 12:00 PM

Fire Hydrant Flushing


The Water Department will begin seasonal fire hydrant flushing in May. Flushing will take place Sunday through Thursday nights from 11PM through 7AM. Flushing will take place in South Attleboro starting at the West Street Plant, and moving toward the Pawtucket and Cumberland city lines. Flushing is expected to take several weeks, and should water supply allow, may be continued into other areas into the summer months.
Fire hydrant flushing can cause discoloration of the tap water. This discoloration is caused by stirring sediment from the water mains. This sediment is made up of naturally occurring minerals in the water that accumulate in the pipes over time. While it is not a concern for health, the discoloration can cause laundry staining, especially when using bleach. Please plan laundry activities accordingly, and avoid using bleach if the water in your home is discolored. Avoid hot water use if your water is discolored as well, as any sediment pulled into hot water systems can take extra time to clear. Any discoloration is temporary and should clear in a couple of hours.
While flushing may seem like a waste of water, there are several reasons that all water systems perform seasonal fire hydrant flushing.
- Flushing clears sediment from the system. This maintains water quality in the long term. If we did not flush fire hydrants on a regular basis, the discoloration that is seen during flushing would eventually occur all the time instead of just during the flushing program.
- If sediment is not properly flushed from the system during a well-run flushing program, the sediment eventually builds up in the mains to the point where there is a loss of water volume and pressure in areas of the system.
- Operating fire hydrants during seasonal flushing ensures that the fire hydrants will be in working order should they be needed for a fire.

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Latest Update:

May 11, 2023 9:02 AM

Beginning May 14, fire hydrant flushing will take place in the area of the West Street plant. Areas affected will be those on the Route 123 section of West Street, Read Street, and the area of the Route 1/1A/123 intersections, including all surrounding side streets.