Straight from the Tap

What to Know About Seasonal Hydrant Flushing


Besides providing quality drinking water when and where you need, another important job of our water distribution system is to provide fire protection.

This is accomplished via a vast network of fire hydrants fed by our water mains. Hydrants are located about every 300 feet along most streets in our 640 square mile service area. In all, that makes for more than 77,000 fire hydrants that are fed by the Cleveland Water system. 

To ensure hydrants are operating properly, local fire departments perform the necessary task of hydrant flushing. This is done at least once a year, usually in the spring and summer months.

Flushing hydrants is an important maintenance activity that ensures hydrants are working properly and that adequate water flow will be available in the event of a fire.

Flushing also removes sediment that naturally accumulates in water pipes. Removing these materials through flushing maintains the high quality of the water we provide to you.

When hydrant flushing occurs in your community, you may notice yellow, orange, or brown-tinted water coming from your faucet. If this happens, simply run your cold water tap for several minutes until the water runs clear.

This temporary discoloration only affects the appearance of the water – it is not a health or safety risk. However, you may want to avoid doing laundry during scheduled flushing times, as the discoloration could stain light-colored clothing.

If you experience discoloration for a prolonged time or if you experience a significant loss of water pressure after hydrant flushing has occurred, please call our Water Emergency Line at 216-664-3060.

While it can seem like a waste of water, flushing of hydrants is essential to keep you safe in the event of a fire emergency.