The Village of Skokie’s annual fire hydrant flushing program helps ensure that optimal water flow is available to firefighters, residents, and businesses. Hydrant flushing also helps maintain water clarity and quality by clearing iron and mineral deposits from the water mains and other distribution pipes.
Beginning in May each year, fire hydrants are flushed Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Hydrant flushing generally does not occur on weekends, but water distribution can sometimes be affected by unexpected events, such as a water main break, Public Works improvements, fire department training, or when the Skokie Fire Department utilizes a fire hydrant system for fire suppression activities.
The Skokie Fire Department offers the following tip, “When a fire hydrant is flushed, residents residing within that geographical area may notice a brief discoloration in their residential tap water. Running the cold-water faucets open for a few minutes will alleviate the discoloration concern. To avoid staining clothing, residents should avoid washing clothes until the water runs clear once again”. It is also important to know that though the water may be discolored for a few minutes it remains safe to consume. Every month, the Skokie Health Department collects over seventy water samples throughout the Village. These samples are tested for chlorine levels and bacterial contamination. Periodically additional samples are collected and analyzed for trihalomethanes, lead and copper. “Our water supply consistently exceeds all Illinois and United States environmental protection standards for drinking water”, according to Village of Skokie Environmental Health Supervisor Bruce Jones. See the Village’s 2019 Water Quality Report.
To provide citizens notice as to when the hydrants in their neighborhood will be flushed, the Fire Department will communicate on the Village of Skokie’s website the week that the projected area is to be flushed. Although Skokie Fire Department personnel make every attempt to flush hydrants in a planned geographical area on set dates, issues such as inclement weather, road construction and traffic conditions may alter their schedule. Therefore, it is very difficult to advise residents exactly when fire hydrants within their neighborhood will be flushed. Later this month the initial geographical areas for hydrant flushing will be posted.
See more information on fire safety from the Skokie Fire Department.