Spring Hydrant Flushing Begins April 29

City crews flushing a hydrant

As part of a program that began in 1993 to assure the highest quality drinking water, the City of Grand Junction Water Services Division will begin spring hydrant flushing on Monday, April 29. The complete process will take approximately three weeks.

There are 970 fire hydrants and 150 miles of pipe in the City of Grand Junction’s service area. This program will flush 50% of those fire hydrants. Ron Key, Water Distribution Supervisor states, “The total amount of water used in the flushing program equates to about one half of an average day’s consumption during the month of May.”

Other than maintaining water quality, reasons for flushing the water system include:

  • Push chlorine residuals to the extremities of the water system
  • Eliminate taste and odors
  • Remove discolored water
  • Maintain the life of the water mains
  • Check fire flows and exercise fire hydrants

There are often questions related to hydrant flushing, so here are some of the more common ones:

  • What is the total volume of water flushed? Approximately 3,000,000 gallons
  • How much water is flushed at each hydrant? 3,500 to 10,000 gallons per hydrant
  • Where does the water go? To the storm sewer then to the Colorado River
  • If the water is flushed to the Colorado River, is the chlorine harmful to fish?  We have tested the water and have found NO chlorine at the outflow at the Colorado River.
  • Why can’t we capture the water in water trucks? Water trucks typically hold only around 2,000 gallons so they are not adequate to capture the amount flushed.
  • Would we still need to flush hydrants if we “looped” the hydrants at the end of the line? Yes, 50% of hydrants must be tested each year to verify adequate function. We do “loop” end-of-line hydrants during fall flushing.

Some of the noticeable effects of flushing may be discolored water, low water pressure and noticeable water in the streets and gutters. These conditions should only be for short periods of time. If discolored water is noticed coming from your faucet the water should be allowed to run for several minutes to clear the service line.

During this process, the Water Division will make every effort to cause the least amount of disruption to water service possible. This program is just one way the Division seeks to provide a high level of customer service while continuing to provide water of the highest quality.

If you have any questions regarding the flushing program, please call Ron Key, Water Distribution Supervisor, at 970-244-1572.

Media contact:  Sam Rainguet, Communications Manager   970-260-5431 or samr@gjcity.org

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