Madison Fire Rescue will begin flushing fire hydrants on March 27. The City of Madison owns approximately 260 hydrants in the city and county. The flushing process normally takes up to two weeks to complete depending upon whether the Fire/Rescue Department is busy fighting fires or handling other emergencies.
The department will begin flushing at approximately 9 a.m., and will flush as many hydrants as possible until 5 p.m., each weekday. The department does not flush during weekends.
Hydrant-flushing signs will be posted in areas where flushing is occurring.
City and some county residents will need to let their water run if they start seeing rusty or dark-colored water. They should be cautious when washing clothes especially light-colored clothes or whites. If the water does not clear up within 15 to 30 minutes, the resident should call Madison City Hall at (850) 973-5081.
The department, says Acting Fire Chief Bruce Jordan, flushes hydrants for many reasons:
• Flushing helps remove rust and debris that accumulates in the city’s water system during the year and which can cause problems;
• Flushing ensures the hydrants are working properly and informs firefighters if there are problems in the hydrants’ operation such as leaking, not opening or closing, etc.
• Flushing helps firefighters remember where hydrants are located, which is part of the department’s weekly training; and
• Flushing is required by the Insurance Services Organization (ISO) to maintain the fire department ISO rating.