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Neighborhood Advisory: Hydrant Flushing Activity

Hydrant flushingDuring the months of February and March 2019, City of Santa Clara Water & Sewer Utilities staff will conduct hydrant flushing. Hydrant flushing is the quick release of water from fire hydrants.

Why does the City perform hydrant flushing?

This controlled procedure is a vital part of the City’s robust program to protect water quality. Along with routine water sampling and a comprehensive cross-connection program, routine hydrant flushing is one of the most effective tools used to ensure that Santa Clara water meets or exceeds the State and Federal regulations for drinking water. Hydrant flushing is a common best practice in the water industry nationwide.

What happens during hydrant flushing?

Crews will open up hydrants and allow them to flow water at a rapid rate. You may observe water flowing into the gutters and streets for a short duration. Hydrant flushing allows the release of any sediment buildup in the water pipelines that might otherwise compromise water quality. On occasion, the water may appear to be slightly discolored. The flushing provides the added benefit of increasing the lifespan of pipelines. The flushing activity will typically occur on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The amount of water represents a very small fraction of the water used in the city. The City’s Water & Sewer Utilities staff are continually exploring technological advancements that would allow for reuse of the water flow released from hydrants, while maintaining the integrity of the flowing process (allowing adequate pressure to flow from the hydrant).

Where will hydrant flushing take place?

In February and March, you may observe hydrant flushing in the public right-of-way in the southwestern portion of the city from Saratoga Avenue in the east, to the western city limits at Lawrence Expressway, and from Homestead Road in the north to Stevens Creek Boulevard in the south.

For more information

If you have questions about the hydrant flushing process, please call the Water & Sewer Utilities at 408-615-2000 or email


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