Discolored tap water could occur as city flushes hydrants | SteamboatToday.com

Discolored tap water could occur as city flushes hydrants

— Steamboat Springs residents might see a slight rust color in their water in the next month, but City Water Department officials said there is no reason for concern.

Tap water could have a slight coloration as the water department flushes out fire hydrants during April and May, said Joe Zimmerman, the city’s utility systems superintendent.

The water department will begin running water at a high velocity through water lines and gushing out fire hydrants. Zimmerman said the annual process clears away a year’s worth of corrosion that has built up in the lines and checks that fire hydrants are working properly.

A slight rust tint in tap water will occur only if a house is running water at the same time a hydrant connected to the same line is flushed and corrosion is pulled from that line, Zimmerman said.

If coloration does occur, it will last for only five to 10 minutes, and running the water at a faucet will eliminate the coloration, Zimmerman said. A house should not see the rust-colored water more than once.

“It doesn’t change anything in the tap water except the coloration,” Zimmerman said. “It’s not harmful, just a rust color because of the corrosion in the main line from last year.”

With more than 500 fire hydrants in the city, Zimmerman said it would take about a month to finish flushing all the hydrants. More noticeable than the slight coloration, Zimmerman said, will be the fire hydrants that are gushing water.

The water department took out an ad in Steamboat Today to inform the public of the routine process.

“(The coloration) typically doesn’t happen,” Zimmerman said. “But we just wanted to keep the public posted to what is occurring when large volumes of water are coming out of fire hydrants and if they do happen to see some coloration in the water.”

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