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The Minot Fire Department will begin testing fire hydrants on Tuesday, May 22. The program will consist of inspecting and flowing fire hydrants east of Broadway and north of Central Avenue.
These hydrant flows will be done only on Tuesday mornings from 8:30 a.m. to noon. National fire standards recommend that this program be done to check for proper operations of fire hydrants along with insuring an adequate water supply to fight fires.
Most fire hydrants do not get used regularly. The program goals are to identify problems and have them corrected by the Water Department, ultimately saving the Fire Department valuable time during a fire. Some of the more common problems found have been hydrant valves that don't operate, caps that don't come off, inadequate water pressure, or possible broken lines.
When fire hydrants are flowed, iron deposits in the water lines get stirred up. This can cause a brown discoloration to the water in that area. This condition is only temporary and will correct itself in a number of hours. On Tuesdays, City officials recommend that you flow your cold water to determine if there is any discoloration before using it.
While the water is still safe to drink and use for cooking, staff recommends not washing any white clothes on Tuesday mornings. If you do, check your water first. If your water is discolored, it will clear up on its own under normal usage over a period of time. Run your cold water to check if it's cleared up. It is also best to limit the use of your hot water until it's clear, as this will keep the iron deposits from settling in your water heater.
There are many long-term benefits of this program for the City of Minot, including:
1) Knowing that your fire hydrant has been tested and is in good operational condition if the Fire Department would ever need it.
2) Annual flows will reduce and ultimately remove the iron deposits in our water lines.
3) Improve the overall quality of our water system.
There will be at least three fire crews doing these tests on Tuesday mornings. Because of problems they might encounter, the crews may be moving to different areas of town daily. All residents in or around the testing areas should check the clarity of their water on Tuesdays prior to washing any clothes.
The Minot Daily News will publish the locations of the areas being flowed each week and they will also be listed on the City of Minot’s web site at www.minotnd.org.
If you have any questions, please contact the Minot Water Department at 857-4150 or the Minot Fire Department at 857-4740.