Fire Hydrant Flushing

During the spring months the City of Pittsburg Fire Department flushes and tests fire hydrants in neighborhoods across Pittsburg.

The testing and flushing of the hydrants can cause some rust to appear in the water for a short amount of time. While there are no health hazards associated with this, it is best to avoid washing white clothing to avoid the possibility of stains.

Citizens are encouraged to check City communications channels for daily updates with specific times and locations (see “where can I get updates?” section below).

 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

 

Q: Why flush hydrants?

A: The fire department tests and flushes hydrants for multiple reasons:

  1. Flushing fire hydrants improves the quality of the water our residents use every day.
  2. It also helps to identify any mechanical issues with our water service so that we can ensure that we have good water service during emergencies.
  3. Along with flushing, we also gather flow data on the hydrants, which helps us to determine which hydrants are the best ones to connect to during fire-related emergencies.
  4. It is required for our ISO (Insurance Service Office) score, which measures the fire prevention and fire suppression capabilities of cities.

 

Q: What is the ISO?

A: The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is the agency that establishes the rating system for fire protection, which is used by insurance underwriters to establish insurance rates in communities. 

 

Q: Why is the ISO rating important?

A: The ISO ratings calculate how well-equipped fire departments are to put out fires in that community.

The ISO provides this score, often called the “ISO fire score,” to insurance companies. The insurers then use it to help set insurance rates for residential and commercial properties. The more well-equipped your fire department is to put out a fire, the less likely your house/business is to burn down, and that makes your property less of a risk (and therefore less expensive) to insure.

An ISO fire insurance rating, also referred to as a “fire score” is a score from 1 to 10 that indicates how well-protected your community is by the local fire department. In 2017, the City of Pittsburg Fire Department was upgraded from an ISO 3 rating to an ISO 2.

The scoring is broken down into three sections:

  • Emergency Communications – 10%
  • Water Supply – 40%
  • Fire Department Resources – 50%

The passing of the Public Safety Sales Tax in Pittsburg provided for improved dispatch capabilities and assisted the Fire Department in acquiring equipment and additional training. Furthermore, the City’s annual water line replacement program provides an enhanced and improved hydrant system throughout our jurisdiction.

 

Q: HOW does it affect me?

A: The testing and flushing of the hydrants can cause some rust to appear in the water for a short amount of time. While there are no health hazards associated with this, it is best to avoid washing white clothing to avoid the possibility of stains. 

Here’s a tip: If you encounter discolored water following hydrant flushing, run the cold water taps throughout your home (bathroom sinks and tubs, kitchen faucets, etc.) for five to 10 minutes or until the water runs clear. This allows discolored water to work its way out of your household plumbing. If, after hydrant flushing, your water pressure or volume seems low, clean faucet screens to remove silt and mineral sediment that could be obstructing water flow.

 

Q: WHEN will it affect me?

A: We will be flushing hydrants during the month of June. Nearly 1,300 fire hydrants exist inside our jurisdiction, which takes us several weeks to complete. For specific days/times, please check our City communications channels (listed below).

 

Q: How often does it happen?

A: The fire department is required to conduct the testing and flushing of hydrants every year.

 

Q: Where can I get updates?

A: We will post daily updates with specific times and locations, on the following City channels: