Joliet fire hydrant flushing starts Tuesday

Testing is expected to last about 5 weeks

Dixon will flush fire hydrants July 17-21.

Joliet — The Joliet Fire Department said it will begin the second phase of its annual fire hydrant testing starting Tuesday.

Testing, or hydrant flushing, is expected to last about five weeks and will take place on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., weather permitting.

The department said that this phase will take place in the areas serviced by stations 1, 7 and 10.

Station 1, located at 101 E. Clinton St., will test hydrants in the area from Cleveland Street south to Interstate 80 and from the EJ&E Railway west to the Des Plaines River.

Station 7, 125 Houbolt Road, will test hydrants from Black Road south to Channahon Road and from Infantry Drive west to Interstate 55.

Station 10, 1599 John D. Paige Drive, serves the geographical area bounded by Walker Road to Jones Road and from the EJ&E Railway west to Arbeiter Road.

Because of the unpredictable nature of the weather and needs for emergency services, Battalion Chief Dan Berta said no specific schedule for when exact areas will be tested is available.

“There are several factors that play into the day-to-day testing process,” Berta said in an email. “The on-duty crews are the ones testing the hydrants, so emergency calls, training, the daily station chores and yearly business inspections are just a few examples that could affect the schedule.”

Berta said that whenever the testing or flushing happens, it should not cause traffic detours.

“There will not be any detours or traffic delays,” Berta said. “The fire department would just ask for travelers to use caution while driving past the crews as they are flowing the hydrants.”

The department also noted that it will “take precautions” to reduce the effect of possible rusty water and said that the city of Joliet will provide packets of rust-removing chemicals for clothing that can be used in washing machines should water be affected.

“There usually is not an issue with rusty water,” Berta said. “Water is constantly flowing through the water mains, so not much sediment is present. The crews flow the hydrants until the water is clear if they notice any discoloration.”

Berta said fire stations and the city’s water department will have rust-removing supplies available for free during the testing. However, issues can be avoided by running an empty load before a load of light-colored clothing if residents notice that there is testing going on in their area.