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Posted on: April 20, 2022

Panama City Fire Dept. to conduct Fire Hydrant Flow Testing in May

Photo of a fire hydrant with wording reading annual fire hydrant maintenance

The Panama City Fire Department will conduct annual Fire Hydrant Flow Testing daily between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the month of May. The testing may cause a slight discoloration in your household water. If you notice any discoloration, please allow the water to run until it clears.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the City perform hydrant testing and flushing?

Hydrant flushing is the quick release of water from fire hydrants. It’s a controlled procedure that is vital to the general maintenance of the City’s water distribution system. It ensures adequate water flow is available to firefighters, residents and businesses. It also improves water quality by clearing iron and other mineral deposits from the water mains.

What are the effects of hydrant flushing?

Hydrant flushing helps ensure water quality and helps avoid random bouts of rusty water if there is a high demand for water, caused by a major firefighting effort or water main break.

During the flushing of a hydrant, some customers may notice reduced water pressure and flow.

Why is my water rust/tea-colored from the hydrant flushing?  Is the water safe?

Water can become discolored after flushing; however, it is safe to drink. If this happens, run your cold water tap for a few minutes until the water is clear. If it is not clear the first time, wait a few minutes and repeat this process.

Avoid washing clothes until the water clears. If your laundry does become stained, do not put it in the dryer. Rewash clothes with detergent and a rust removing agent. Rust remover can also remove stained fixtures.

I live on the west side and the City is flushing hydrants on the east side.  How come my water is discolored?

Sometimes residents who live beyond the limits of the area where hydrant flushing is currently being performed, may notice rust-colored water. This can occur because the opening of a hydrant can cause water run in the opposite direction than normal.

How come my water is discolored, buy my neighbor didn’t notice my discoloration? 

If the water inside a home or business is turned on while hydrant flushing is going on, discolored water may enter your plumbing. If a neighbor did not use water during the day, they most likely will not notice any discoloration.

What if discoloration persists after flushing?

Discoloration may linger for a few hours. Discoloration only affects the appearance of the water, but does not affect water quality. There are no health concerns associated with discolored water from hydrant flushing. If you have any concerns; however, please contact the Public Works Department at (850) 872-3000.

How often is hydrant testing and flushing done?

Hydrant flushing is performed annually. The work is generally done between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Further questions can be answered by calling the Panama City Fire Department at (850) 872-3053.

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