Fire Hydrant Testing News Item Graphic

Discolored Water May Result From Fire Hydrant Testing

Released October 07, 2022 02:22 PM

Residents may notice a temporary change in their household water pressure or discoloration of the water between now and the end of November as the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety conducts routine testing of fire hydrants throughout the city.  The department performs flow and pressure tests on every City-owned fire hydrant to ensure they are adequate and operational for firefighting.


Fire hydrants are opened to allow water to flush for several minutes to hours to remove sediments and iron compounds.  During the flushing process residents may notice discolored water as the sediments are agitated.  This in no way affects the safety of the water. If discoloration occurs, turn on all household cold water faucets and let them run for several minutes to help clear household pipes.


Residents may also notice low water pressure or water running on streets during hydrant flushing.


There is no need to report these issues unless they persist.


The National Fire Protection Association recommends fire hydrants be tested every five years to measure pressure and flow in a city’s water distribution system. NFPA recommends fire hydrants maintain a residual pressure of 20 pounds per square inch for effective firefighting, as well as to prevent backflow that could contaminate the water supply.