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Residents should limit laundering during fire hydrant testing

The City of Minot Fire Department began its annual fire hydrant quality assurance program on Tuesday, with hydrant testing scheduled for Tuesday mornings between 8:30 a.m. and noon.

This year, the program consists of inspecting and flowing fire hydrants west of Broadway and north of Central Avenue. National fire standards recommend these tests to insure hydrants are in proper working order in case they are needed in an emergency.

“Most hydrants aren’t used regularly, and we use this program to help identify and correct any potential problems,” Minot Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Lonnie Sather said. “A few common problems we have found are hydrant valves that don’t operate, caps that don’t come off, inaccessible hydrants and inadequate water pressure.”

When hydrants are flowed, iron deposits in the water lines are stirred up, which can cause a brown discoloration in the water. This condition is temporary and will correct itself in a few hours. On the days when hydrants are flowed, Sather recommends residents let their cold water run for a short time to make sure it’s clear before using it. The water is safe to drink, but it is recommended residents not wash any white clothes on mornings when the hydrants are flushed. Sather also said it’s best to limit the use of hot water until it runs clear to help stop iron deposits from settling into your water heater.

At least three crews will be conducting tests on Tuesdays; residents in and around the testing areas should check their water clarity on Tuesdays prior to washing any clothes.

The locations of the areas being tested each week will be listed on the City of Minot’s website at www.minotnd.org. If residents have questions or concerns, please contact the Minot Water Department at 857-4150 or the Minot Fire Department at 857-4740.

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