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Flushing the fire hydrants

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By Geoff Hamill

You’ve probably driven down the street and seen water standing everywhere and wondered why those fire hydrants have been running wild. If so, you’re not alone.

There are more than 100 fire hydrants in Washington County, and to keep them operating properly, every one of them has to be flushed out at least twice per year.

“The main purpose is to check and make sure they are all functioning properly and not leaking,” said Angela Culver, secretary and treasurer of the Springfield Sewer and Water Commission. She added that settlement in pipes could cause problems over long periods of inactivity with the hydrants. “You’ll still have some slight settlement in the pipes, and flushing them get that all moved out,” she said.

Culver said more hydrant flushing is done in the summer because the heat can affect water by pulling the chlorine from it, especially if there’s not high enough usage in a particular area.