LIVINGSTON, NJ – In the coming weeks, Livingston residents may notice Water Division employees working at fire hydrants and see water running down the street. Those employees are performing an important preventative maintenance activity for our water system: flushing the hydrants.

Water Division employees will perform the hydrant flushing between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., beginning this week. Hydrant flushing in certain areas of the system will also be performed at night between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The hydrant-flushing schedule by street is available at livingstonnj.org/hydrant-flushing.

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“Residents are reminded to make sure that their water is running clear before doing laundry,” said Livingston Junior Utility Engineer Nathan Kiracofe. “Although it’s unlikely, there may be cases in which a resident might experience a slight discoloration for a few hours. This mild discoloration only affects the appearance of water—not the taste or quality of the water.”

Kiracofe added that hydrant flushing is an important part of a routine maintenance program necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system.

“Performing this periodically allows the township to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to Livingston residents,” he said.

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.

“Hydrant flushing helps remove the natural sediments and deposits that occur over time,” said Kiracofe, who instituted the program. “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. This discoloration consists primarily of harmless silt and air, and doesn’t affect the safety of the water. It should clear up within a short period of time.

If a resident uses the tap water during flushing, the water could come out full of sediment and discoloration. In the case of discolored water, 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 doesn’t clear after a few minutes, 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.

For more information about hydrant flushing or Livingston’s Water Division, visit the township website at livingstonnj.org.