Saint Paul Regional Water Services flushes its fire hydrants and water mains every year as part of a uni-directional flushing program.

Why flush the hydrants and pipes?

  • Ensure all our hydrants, valves, and mains are in working order
  • Ensure we have high quality water by scouring and cleaning the pipes
  • Ensure the reliability of our system

What happens during flushing?

We open a hydrant and main valves in a specified area, allowing the water to run out onto the street and back into the storm sewer system.
As fresh water rushing in from our supply system exits out the hydrant, it stirs up the water and lifts out debris and sediment that might have accumulated in the pipes and hydrant.

Possible effects of flushing are:

  • A drop in water pressure
  • Discolored water in your home pipes as sediments are stirred up

Is the discolored water safe to drink?

Yes. There are no harmful health effects from drinking discolored water. Compounds such as iron, manganese, and other sediments make it discolored, but they don't affect the microbiological quality.

What do I do if my tap water is discolored or rusty looking?

Allow the sediments to settle for a few hours after the flushing has stopped. Then, run the cold water for about 5 minutes to flush out your own pipes.
Do not run the hot water. This could draw sediment into your hot water heater.
Do not wash clothes. The sediments could settle in your wash.

I’ve tried running my water, but it’s still discolored. What do I do now?

Call our dispatch office at 651-266-6868.

Last Edited: December 11, 2020