(updated Dec. 1, 2020)
The City of Ann Arbor's annual autumn fire hydrant inspections and system maintenance which resumed Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, is now complete. This annual process is necessary to prepare for approaching cold temperatures and is conducted to eliminate the potential for frozen hydrants. Unlike the annual spring hydrant maintenance, residents should not expect any discoloration in their tap water due to the hydrant work taking place in the fall.
A graphical map is updated only during annual spring hydrant flushing to show which areas of the city are having their hydrants flushed.
When is flushing performed?
The City of Ann Arbor conducts annual fire hydrant flushing beginning every spring and continuing on a weekly basis through the fall.
Why is flushing done?
This annual maintenance is done to remove minerals and sediment that accumulate in the water lines over the course of a year. This preventative maintenance also allows us to check and record water pressure to ensure the water system is functioning properly.
What to expect
During this process, you may observe a fire hydrant with water coming out of the side opening.
On occasion, during spring hydrant flushing, the water in the areas of flushing may temporarily have an reddish/orange rusty appearance. The hydrant flushing can disturb iron sediment in the water pipes and cause the discoloration. The water is safe to drink. If this occurs, please run your cold water at the tap closest to your water meter for several minutes to clear your lines. You should also flush your toilets once or twice. The water should run clear within a few minutes but may last until the evening when hydrant flushing stops and more people are home to move the rusty water out of the system.
Please don't run warm water, as this forces the discolored water into the water heater, mixing it with clear stored water. If you do get rusty water in your hot water heater, drain the hot water heater per the manufacturer's instructions. If your laundry becomes discolored from the use of rusty water, products like “Rover" can help remove temporary laundry coloration.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding hydrant flushing, please call the city at 734.794.6320.