Maintenance is an important part of keeping equipment working properly and efficiently. The City of Independence announced crews will begin flushing fire hydrants Monday and continue for approximately six weeks.

Routinely flushing hydrants is a controlled procedure vital to the general maintenance of the city's water distribution system and ensures adequate water flow is available for emergency crews, residents and businesses. The recent press release stated that although it may seem the city is not conserving water, "The process of periodically 'flushing' fire hydrants is an important preventive maintenance activity. Although it may appear to waste water, this process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system and to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers." 

Hydrant flushing is the fast release of water from the hydrant and may cause tap water to temporarily appear rust-colored due to iron and mineral deposits in the water being stirred up. Residents may notice the discoloration of their water but rest assured, it does not affect the safety of the water. If you notice discoloration in your tap water following hydrant flushing in your area, city crews suggest clearing your homes pipes by running all water faucets for a minute or two.

If a resident notices low water pressure from a faucet, they may need to clean out the faucet screen. Residents will notice low water pressure while crews are in their area but it should not last longer than 20 minutes.

Ashley Jones-Wisner, senior director of Public Affairs with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in Topeka, said the process of periodically "flushing" water lines with fire hydrants is "an important preventative maintenance activity." She noted the process is part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system. "It allows the delivery of the highest quality water possible to customers," Jones-Wisner said. "The flushing route is carefully planned. Valves are opened and closed to control the direction of the water flow. Flushing the water system on a routine basis removes sediment from lines and keeps the entire distribution system 'refreshed.'”

For those who have issues with water pressure or quality, contact Independence City Hall at 620-332-2500.