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Safety and quality: Annual hydrant flushing and flow testing

Safety and quality: Annual hydrant flushing and flow testing

It's that time of year again! In partnership with Kingston Fire & Rescue, we’re kicking off our annual hydrant inspection and flow rating, part of the hydrant maintenance program. With over 3,600 hydrants across the city, this is no small feat. Each year, we meticulously inspect every hydrant and conduct flow ratings on 20% of them.  

Why? Because maintaining the integrity of our drinking water system and ensuring fire protection are our top priorities. 

Fire protection: ensuring readiness in emergencies 

Hydrant inspections are crucial for fire protection. Our licensed water distribution operators check mechanical parts for proper operation, assess the overall condition of each hydrant, and perform flushing and flow ratings. Once rated, hydrants are colour-coded—blue, green, orange, or red—to indicate their flow rates to firefighters. 

Where's the flow rating happening this year? 

Our annual flow tests will be conducted on 20% of hydrants, selected on a rotating basis. This year, the tests will be happening in Zones 4 and 6: 

  • Zone 4: West of Bayridge Dr, north of Creekford Rd, south of Front Rd, east of Coronation Blvd.  

  • Zone 6: South of Johnson St, north of John Counter Blvd, east of Division St, west of Sir John A MacDonald Blvd, including the Strathcona area and lower downtown. 

 We'll also inspect any newly installed hydrants to ensure they're in top shape

Water quality: cleaner, safer water for all 

Flushing hydrants is more than just a maintenance task; it helps remove accumulated sediment and impurities, ensuring that clean, safe water flows through our distribution system. Plus, it keeps our water tasting fresh and clean! 

And here's a fun fact: our hydrants wear blue socks! These hydrant socks allow for a gentle flushing process, reducing the risk of property damage. Who knew hydrants could be so stylish? 

What to expect during inspections? 

While we're out and about inspecting hydrants, you might notice a few things: 

  • Reduced water pressure: Temporary water flow redirection can lead to lower pressure in some areas. Don't worry—this is expected, and the pressure will return to normal quickly. 

  • Discoloured water: Hydrant flushing might cause your water to look a bit discoloured. Rest assured, it's still safe to use. To clear it up, run the cold water tap closest to your water meter for 5 to 25 minutes until it runs clear. 

If your water pressure or water colour doesn’t return to normal, give us a call at 613-546-1181. 

Meet our team 

We're excited to welcome four summer students to our hydrant maintenance program. This program not only provides essential skills and experience, but it also reinforces our commitment to youth employment in Kingston. 

So, keep an eye out for our team as they ensure Kingston's hydrants are in tip-top shape, supporting both our drinking water system and fire protection services. And remember, if you have any questions or concerns, we're just a phone call away! 

Click here to learn more about the hydrant flushing and flow rating.