Hydrant Flushing

The City of Wetaskiwin has begun its hydrant flushing maintenance, which takes place late spring to early summer every year.

Hydrant Flushing: What is it?

Hydrant flushing is the quick release of water from fire hydrants—a controlled procedure that is vital to the general maintenance of the City’s water distribution system. It ensures adequate water flow is available to residents and businesses—as well as to our firefighters during major firefighting efforts. It also helps maintain the City’s water clarity and quality by clearing iron and mineral deposits from the water mains (distribution pipes).

House water may appear cloudy or brown

You may notice that your water is cloudy or may even have a brown tint when hydrant flushing is being performed in your area. This is from additional air particles being trapped in the water as it moves through the lines at a high speed. Sometimes hydrant flushing can make the water temporarily appear rust-colored because the iron and mineral deposits in the water get stirred up. This cloudy or tinted water is still safe to use and consume during hydrant flushing, but it may stain laundry. Please flush your taps after the hydrant flushing to help wash away any residual particles that may have entered your water line.

The main component of the discoloration of the water during hydrant flushing is caused by iron deposits from inside the water mains. The source of the iron is naturally occurring from source water and deposits in the ductile iron pipe that make up the underground water system. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality states that “no evidence exists of dietary iron toxicity” so only an aesthetic objective is listed at <0.3mg/L. Anything higher than this amount will result in tinted water. The City’s drinking water usually contains an iron level of between 0.0 – 0.01 parts per million (mg/L)

Staying updated

Keep an eye on the City’s Facebook page for details on hydrant flushing locations. If you have questions or concerns about this process, please contact our utilities team at 780.361.4404.