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Pasadena In Focus
November - December 2009

Water Quality and Your Safety

hydrantIf you ever see PWP field crews on the street opening fire hydrants and releasing water into storm drains, don’t be alarmed. As much as it pains us to see water go down the drain, fire hydrant flushing is necessary for two main reasons.

The Pasadena Fire Department requires flow tests to make sure every hydrant is ready in case of emergency and to ensure adequate pressure in building sprinkler systems; and the California Department of Public Health requires water distribution system flushing when nitrite levels exceed 25 parts per billion or when water samples test positive for coliform bacteria. Flushing is also used to release “dead-ends” (stagnant water) from the distribution system, which prevents deterioration of water quality.

With the emphasis on water conservation that the entire community is embracing, PWP’s water quality team and the Fire Department are reviewing the flushing program and investigating ways to minimize the amount of water being flushed and how to recapture it. If you have questions about the program, send an e-mail to wpd_answerline@cityofpasadena.net.