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October 25, 2020
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General News: Fire Hydrant Flushing

September 16, 2020

The Town of Cornwall and Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson Water department will be flushing fire hydrants during the months of September and October.

The schedule is as follows:
Town of Cornwall: Weeks of September 21st and September 28th

Village of Cornwall and Ridge Road: Weeks of October 5th and October 12th

Flushing will cause discoloration. Please check water before use. Text keyword COH12520 to 99411 for up to date information.


Fire Hydrant Flushing Common Questions & Answers
1. Why does the Water Department flush fire hydrants?
Hydrant flushing is the quick release of water from fire hydrants. It’s a controlled procedure that is vital to the general maintenance of our water distribution system. It ensures adequate water flow is available to fire fighters, residents and businesses. It also helps maintain the system’s water clarity and quality by clearing iron and mineral deposits from the water mains (distribution pipes). Lastly, it helps to maintain proper disinfection of the treated water.
2. How often is hydrant flushing performed?
Hydrant flushing is performed twice a year – once in the spring and again in the fall.
3. What days and times of the week will hydrant flushing take place?
Typically hydrant flushing will take place Monday thru Friday between 7am – 5pm. On a rare occasion flushing will take place during the overnight hours to avoid disrupting water service in the area of schools and medical facilities.
4. What are the effects of hydrant flushing?
Hydrant flushing helps ensure water quality and helps avoid random bouts of rusty water if there is a high demand for water, such as a major firefighting effort or high usage during a sustained drought. Sometimes hydrant flushing can make the water temporarily appear rust-colored because the iron and mineral deposits in the water get stirred up.
5. Why is my water rust/tea-colored from the hydrant flushing? Is the water safe?
Sometimes hydrant flushing can make the water temporarily appear rust-colored because the iron and mineral deposits in the water get stirred up. Water is safe to use and consume during hydrant flushing, however it may stain laundry. 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 ground water wells and deposits in the ductile iron pipe that make up the underground water system.
6. How come my water is discolored, but my neighbor didn’t notice any discoloration?
If you were home when the hydrant flushing was occurring and you turned on your water, you’re water may be discolored because you are drawing in water from the distribution system while it was being flushed and stirring up the minerals and iron. If your neighbors were not home all day and returned home in the evening and turned on their tap when no flushing was occurring, they most likely will not notice any discoloration.
7. My water is discolored. What should I do?
Wait until flushing has subsided in your area then run the cold water tap until the water runs clear. If you have a water softener and are experiencing discolored water, place the unit into regeneration or cleaning mode after hydrant flushing is completed in your area. Remember rust colored water is safe, but it may stain laundry.
8. Tips for Minimizing Water Discoloration during Hydrant Flushing Operations
• If possible, limit your water use.
• Wait until flushing has subsided in your area then run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.
• If have a water softener and are experiencing discolored water, place the unit into regeneration or cleaning mode
after hydrant flushing is completed in your area.
• Remember rust colored water is safe, but it may stain laundry. If this happens, keep clothes wet and treat them
with stain remover.
9. Does the Water Department test the water regularly? Is the testing done at various sites?
The Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New York State Department of Health to test the water in the system at various times throughout the year according to mandated parameters. The results of these tests are outlined in the annual Water Quality Report delivered to each customer in May of each year. (The report is sometimes called the Consumer Confidence Report.)
Although the water is discolored during hydrant flushing and may look unclear or tinted, the water is not harmful or contaminated. To ensure the highest possible quality of water and in accordance with regulations, the Village’s Water Department collects samples from various collection points every month from areas all over our water system. This sampling takes place even during hydrant flushing operations. These samples are then analyzed for bacteriological contamination. Historically the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson has compliance with these samples, which means there are no bacteria in the water.
10. How can I be notified when hydrant flushing operations will take place in my area?
To be notified of hydrant flushing operations as well as all other General and Emergency notifications from the Village of Cornwall-on-Hudson, simply TEXT the keyword COH12520 to 99411 and follow the instructions to become signed up for our CodeRed messaging system.


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