Louisville Water Company has over 23,000 fire hydrants in its service area. These hydrants are flow-tested and maintained every year to ensure they are in good working order. This testing activity typically occurs April through October and may peak during summer months.
The tests help determine that each hydrant has sufficient flow for firefighting. The hydrants are flushed to remove sediment. Residents in the nearby work area may experience a temporary discoloration or slight metallic taste in their drinking water - this is NOT a health issue. The water will clear on its own within a few hours after the testing is completed.
You can help by making sure there are no obstructions, like landscaping or decorations, within 15 feet of the hydrant. This allows workers to easily access the hydrant without causing any damage. To learn more about property owner responsibilities regarding fire hydrants, check with your county for specific ordinances. Louisville Metro Fire Hydrant Ordinance (PDF).
Signs that fire hydrant testing is being conducted in your area:
- Fire, Louisville Water or Public Works vehicles on your street
- Water on the ground around the hydrant
- Slightly discolored water
- Air sputtering from the faucet
If you experience discoloration or a slight distaste in your tap water as a result of hydrant testing, please take the following steps:
- Turn on the cold water in all your faucets and let it run for few minutes. If you live on a cul-de-sac or dead-end it may take a little longer for the water to return to normal.
- Avoid washing light colored laundry until the water clears. If you notice staining, rewash with a cold water detergent and do NOT use bleach - it can set stains when clothes are dried.
If you experience discolored water for more that 24-hours, contact our Customer Care Center.