Fire Hydrant Flushing
The City of Allen flushes fire hydrants and other dead-end water lines to help guarantee the safety of our drinking water and test hydrants’ readiness for emergencies. Flushing hydrants and dead-end water lines is required by Texas Commission by Environmental Quality (TCEQ) regulations.
We realize that water is a limited resource and are dedicated to conservation. However, water pipeline flushing is critical to maintaining high-quality drinking water. The flushing program is continually monitored to ensure that water is used in the most efficient way possible.
Flushing is often the best option to keep your water safe in the following scenarios:
Flushing for water quality
Chloramine—the main ingredient used to guarantee the safety of our drinking water—becomes less effective when water is stagnant. This is particularly true in summer months when temperatures are high. During the City of Allen’s routine testing, a water line may be flagged for flushing to keep chloramine levels within an acceptable range.
Once each year, North Texas Municipal Water District uses free chlorine instead of chloramine to keep our water safe and sanitary. Free chlorine is used for 28-30 days during early spring to maintain the system and prevent bacterial growth ahead of summer heat. Some water providers flush hydrants and dead-end water lines to help reduce free chlorine’s impact on the water’s taste or smell. The City of Allen uses this tactic sparingly to help conserve water when possible.
Flushing during construction
Untreated water, soil and other debris can sometimes enter water lines during construction or repair. When this happens, crews will open hydrants within a designated area to flush out these materials and scour pipes using the high-pressure flow. This process restores safe, clean drinking water to homes and businesses affected by construction.
Flushing for fire flow tests
Fire hydrants must be tested to ensure they work during emergencies. During testing, hydrants must run for a set period of time to document proper functioning.
What if I suspect a leak?
Crews typically post a sign near the hydrant to notify neighbors when flushing is underway. If you suspect your hydrant is leaking, call our 24-hour water/sewer emergency hotline at 214.509.4530.