Hydrant Testing

Beginning Monday, April 18th through Friday, April 22nd and continuing Monday, April 25th through Friday, April 29th, Douglas County Fire District No.2 fire fighters will be flushing, testing and maintaining fire hydrants in the service area of the District which includes the communities of Dixonville, Green, Melrose, Winchester, Wilbur, Garden Valley, Umpqua, and Calapooia; the City of Sutherlin; and unincorporated areas of the City of Roseburg.  Testing will be conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on these dates.

Have you ever been driving in one of the above service areas and noticed fire fighters standing by a fire hydrant with water gushing out of it?  Have you ever wondered why they are “wasting” so much water?  There are good reasons for the use of this water.  The District fire fighters you see flushing fire hydrants are trained in sound and proven hydrant operations.  Flushing fire hydrants are one of the most important maintenance practices that can be performed on a water distribution system.

When fire fighters open a fire hydrant for the flushing process, the following are checked and recorded to ensure operational reliability:

  • Visible and audible leaks
  • Proper valve operation
  • Flushing of corrosion and rust build up
  • Water pressure
  • Removal of dirt and rocks in the water
  • Water flow in gallons per minute

If ignored, corrosion and rust, dirt and sediment, and exposure to the elements can cause problems that may render a fire hydrant unusable by fire fighters during a fire emergency.  Replacing water that has been standing in the system with fresh water is especially important in dead-end main areas and low flow areas in the system.  The time and money invested in flushing fire hydrants are a worth while investment in ensuring the safety of the community.  So, the next time you see District fire fighters flushing a hydrant, you can rest assured that they are working hard to protect the safety of the public, and properly maintain the water distribution system.

Fire Hydrant Flow Testing 
This service is done to identify the amount of water a certain fire hydrant can deliver during an emergency situation.  This service is done on a continuing basis so that problems can be identified and then eliminated.  All hydrants are color coded in accordance with national standards so that District personnel can identify what gallons per minute a given fire hydrant can deliver.

Fire hydrant flushing and flow testing is done in close cooperation with the four water purveyors within the service area of the District, which includes: City of Roseburg Water Department, City of Sutherlin Water Department, Roberts Creek Water District, and Umpqua Basin Water Association.

Questions and Answers
Why is the water pressure low?
Your water pressure may be low due to the flushing of fire hydrants, which lowers the water pressure in the area that is being tested.

Why is my water discolored?
Due to the fire hydrant flushing, customers could experience a temporary discoloration of water, which is due to the unsetting of rust and/or sediment in the water main.

What should I do about the discolored water?
Run the cold water for about five minutes – this should clear up the water.

My clothes have been stained from the rust or sediment in the water, what should I do?
You should clean them with a stain remover. 

Is the water safe to drink?
Yes, if the water would be unsafe for any reason to drink, a boil alert would be issued by the water purveyor(s).

For more information about fire hydrant flushing / testing and other fire safety issues contact Douglas County Fire District No.2 Fire Prevention Bureau at 541-673-55503 or visit www.dcfd.org