The Covington Fire Department will be testing the 1,500 fire hydrants in the city to make sure they have sufficient pressure.
Officer Brett Madsen said the testing is to ensure hydrants can be used in case of a fire. Flushing also has the benefit of cleaning sediment from the water lines. While most of the sediment is released from the hydrant, some may continue on to homes and temporarily discolor water. If residents see the fire department flushing hydrants in their area, they should run their water until any leftover sediment has run its course, Madsen said.
Most hydrants are less than 500 feet apart, so depending on the flow rate, measured in gallons per minute, the fire department will know if it could need to use more than one hydrant to fight a fire. Any low flow rates are reported to the city’s water department for repairs. The fire department also will be painting some of the hydrants and performing other basic maintenance.
Residents can talk to firefighters during the flushing process or call the fire department at (770) 385-2100. The Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority is also flushing hydrants countywide to test water quality. During the drought, hydrant flushing wasn’t done unless a specific problem had been reported.