LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Township of Livingston is advising residents that they may notice Water Division employees working at fire hydrants as well as water running down the street in the coming weeks as employees work to flush the hydrants as part of a preventative maintenance program for the township’s water system.

Beginning on March 21, the 2019 hydrant-flushing program is expected to take approximately two months for each of the township’s three “Leaf Collection Sections,” according to the township. Hydrants along county and state roads will be done throughout the flushing program. Section designations can be found on the map and alphabetical street list that is available on the township’s website.

“Hydrant flushing is an important part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system,” said Livingston Junior Utility Engineer Nathan Kiracofe, who instituted the program. “Performing this periodically allows the township to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to Livingston residents.”

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Water Division employees will perform the hydrant flushing between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The township also noted that hydrant flushing in certain areas of the system will also be performed overnight between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

“Residents are reminded to make sure that their water is running clear before doing laundry,” said Kiracofe. “Although it’s unlikely, there may be cases in which a resident might experience a slight discoloration for a few hours.”

Kiracofe noted that any mild discoloration will only affect the appearance of water—not the taste or quality of the water.

He explained that the township’s water distribution system is a complex network of pipes and storage tanks where sediment or deposits may naturally accumulate over time. Water may also pool in lesser-used parts of the distribution system. All of this could lead to water-quality deterioration, taste and odor problems or discoloration of water, he said.

“Hydrant flushing helps remove the natural sediments and deposits that occur over time,” said Kiracofe. “In fact, the preventative maintenance benefits of hydrant flushing are so important they exceed the inevitable water losses associated with that activity.”

As a result of the line-flushing process, residents in the immediate vicinity of the work may experience temporary, unavoidable discoloration of their water and some loss of pressure. According to Kiracofe, this discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and air and does not affect the safety of the water, which should clear up within a short period of time.

If a resident uses the tap water during flushing, the water could emerge full of sediment and discoloration. In the case of discolored water, residents should shut the water off and wait several minutes.

After waiting, check the clarity of the water by running cold water for a few minutes to allow new water to work its way into the pipes. If the water does not clear after a few minutes, residents should turn it off, wait a few more minutes and try running the cold water again.

If water discoloration occurs and continues for more than 24 hours, residents should contact the Water Division at (973) 535-7951.

For more information about hydrant flushing or Livingston’s Water Division, visit livingstonnj.org/Water.