Why We Flush Fire Hydrants and Water Lines

Why We Flush

Keeping our hydrants and water lines clear of debris, odor and contaminates requires constant vigilance. That is why we schedule routine flushing of our hydrants and water lines.

We flush for a variety of reasons:
  • Basic water system maintenance to exercise and test the hydrants
  • Response to calls about poor-quality water that is discolored or has a undesirable odor or taste
  • To refresh lines that do not get a lot of flow
  • After repairs are made in the water system
  • To do a flow test ensuring the system has adequate pressure for newly installed fire systems
We flush our water lines for similar reasons, but there are additional factors such as:
  • The State of Texas through the TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) mandates that dead end lines (the ends of non-looped water lines) be flushed at least once a month
  • Because iron, manganese and other particulates naturally occur in ground water, some of these particulates oxidize and change color when they come into contact with the water systems disinfection. Generally, we flush those lines when we get calls, but in those areas that frequently get discolored water, we schedule regular flushing
  • With surface water, there are indicators that inform us when the water needs to be flushed so it does not get stagnant
  • When we have a main line repair, we flush the lines to remove any debris that may have entered as well as disinfecting the line and taking bacteriological samples
  • If the system has lost pressure it will be flushed along with other measures to ensure the water is safe for consumption

If we did not flush, debris from construction could stop up the water lines, discolored water would not clear, and areas of stagnant water could lose disinfection and possibly cause illnesses. Flushing can prevent these issues and also prevent discolored water from staining clothes when washed.

How We Flush

We have a number of ways to flush the systems. If the entire system needs to be flushed, we use a directional flushing plan created by the district engineer and Inframark. This isimplemented by opening and closing specific valves and hydrants throughout the water system until every line has been flushed. If it is a main line break, usually only the area that is around the line that was compromised and repaired will be flushed.

Dead ends are generally flushed through a 2-inch valve for as long as it takes to get clear water and a good disinfection residual. For new construction, the valve and hydrants on the new water line will be partially opened until the new section is flushed out and full. The valve will be closed when we receive a good disinfection residual. Bacteriological samples will be collected to verify disinfection.

We use four basic tools to flush a hydrant:
  • A fire hydrant wrench to remove the cap off of the hydrant and to turn the valve to start the flow
  • A flow diffuser is used to disperse the flow from the hydrant which reduces possible injury or property damage. Some diffusers are capable of flow measurement
  • A fire hose at times when the flow from the hydrant needs to be moved to prevent any damage
  • A splash plate which is used to divert the flow from the hydrant outward so the ground below the plate does not erode or wash out

When We Flush

Inframark has a schedule for flushing that often exceeds TCEQ directives. Dead end lines are flushed at least monthly while directional flushing is generally done annually. Poor water calls, main line repairs and emergencies are done as soon as they can be done safely.

We flush your hydrants and water mains to make sure that they work properly, and the water used is safe for consumption and has no bad odors or discoloration.

Barker Reservoir Flood Pool / First Project Barker Stakeholder / Partner Meeting and Q&A

Willow Fork Drainage District (WFDD) is excited to announce $24 million in funding from the Texas Water Development Board for the planning, design and construction of Project Barker, a flood storage improvement and community park project within Barker Reservoir.

Project Barker is designed to be a “pilot” project that can be replicated throughout the Barker Reservoir in future phases. Project Barker includes constructing a 3,000 acre-foot regional storage pond, and 420 acres of new park space. The multipurpose space will:

Provided additional flood storage to protect properties adjacent to Barker Reservoir enhance community quality of life by adding parks, trails and outdoor spaces provide environmental benefit through wetland and aquatic life habitat creation serve as a model to increase flood storage on government-owned land within Barker Reservoir. WFDD has been coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to identify all locations within Barker Reservoir in which this type of project can be replicated, with the long term objective of doubling flood storage areas within government-owned land.

WFDD is excited to preview Project Barker with you! As a community partner and resident who is equally concerned in preventing future flooding while at the same time enriching our  community, we invite you to learn more and look forward to your input and involvement. Directors, consultants, and interested parties are welcome to attend!

Please join the WFDD Board of Directors for First Project Barker Stakeholder/Partner Meeting and Q&A:

October 19, 2021 at 6:30 PM
The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch
23030 Cinco Ranch Boulevard, Katy, Texas 77450

Dinner will be served. RSVP to jmiller@abhr.com or mguilmenot@abhr.com by Oct. 15

Notice of Public Hearing on Tax Rate

Cinco Municipal Utility District No. 5 will hold a public hearing on a proposed tax rate for the tax year 2021 on September 14, 2021 at 4:30 PM at the Willow Fork Country Club, 21055 Westheimer Pkwy, Katy, Texas. Your individual taxes may increase at a greater or lesser rate, or even decrease, depending on the tax rate that is adopted and on the change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in taxable value of all other property. The change in the taxable value of your property in relation to the change in the taxable value of all other property determines the distribution of the tax burden among all property owners.

Click here to ready notice.

W.I.S.E. Guys Residential Program

The W.I.S.E. Guys residential program is a conservation service offered to cities, water districts, municipal utility districts and any other supplier of water. The W.I.S.E. Guys residential program evaluates existing residential irrigation systems and makes recommendations for improvement to the performance of the system and to the scheduling of the controller to eliminate unnecessary waste.

The program allows face-to-face education with the homeowner on efficient irrigation and proper controller scheduling. With this one-on-one education program, we are able to begin changing the irrigation habits of homeowners.

Apply for your Residential Evaluations