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Posted on: March 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] TWW to Inspect Fire Hydrants and Flush Water Mains Throughout Its System

TWW water-distribution system technician tests a fire hydrant

TWW to Inspect Fire Hydrants and Flush Water Mains Throughout Its System

Trenton, N.J. — Trenton Water Works will conduct two routine, water-industry-standard procedures in its five-municipality service area in the days ahead: inspection of fire hydrants for optimum fire protection and unidirectional flushing to maintain high water quality.

"We conduct fire hydrant inspections annually to ensure operability and appropriate pressure. Fire protection is a critical part of our mission," said Michael Walker, Chief of Communications and Community Relations at Trenton Water Works, which is operated by the city’s Department of Water & Sewer. "Our water-distribution-system technicians use unidirectional flushing to clear 4 to 16-inch water mains of sediment and other pipe deposits, which maintains high water quality."

Fire Hydrant Inspections

Beginning in Trenton on March 16, TWW’s construction and maintenance unit will begin inspecting 3,501 fire hydrants system-wide for mechanical operability, pressure and appearance. This year, hydrants will be sandblasted and color-coated to indicate total flow volume in gallons per minute. The schedule is as follows: Trenton, March 16 to May 24; Ewing Township, May 25 to June 7; Lawrence Township, June 8-21; Hamilton Township, June 22 to July 5; and Hopewell Township, July 7-20.

Unidirectional Flushing (UDF)

Starting on April 6, TWW’s water-distribution technicians will operate valves and open fire hydrants to flush water mains and clear them of sediment and other deposits, a process that maintains high water quality. The work will be conducted Monday to Thursday evenings, between 8 p.m. and midnight, to minimize inconvenience to residents. The UDF schedule is as follows: Ewing Township, April 6-30; Hopewell Township, May 4-28; Lawrence Township, June 1-30; Hamilton Township, July 6 to August 30; and Trenton, September 1-30.

Hydrant inspections and high-velocity, water-main flushing may cause temporary water discoloration, also called "brown water.” This is when deposits from iron pipes dissolve into the water delivered to the tap. In these situations, we recommend that residents do not drink, cook or do laundry with brown water, and run the cold tap until the water is clear.

"We expect minimal inconvenience to our service-area residents,” stressed Walker. “However, some may experience brown water, a temporary condition when fire hydrants are opened. You can easily restore clarity by allowing the tap closest to the home’s water meter to run for at least 10 minutes until the water runs clear.”

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Photo Caption: A TWW water-distribution system technician tests a fire hydrant in Hamilton Township. Photo Credit: Michael Walker – Trenton Water Works

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