Dallas Wasting 500K Gallons of Water a Day Through Fire Hydrants

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Since last week, 12 fire hydrants in Dallas have been pumping out 500,000 gallons of water each day. Assistant director of Dallas Water Utilities, Randall Payton, explained to WFAA8, “The most important thing you need to know is this is required by state.”

The procedure of letting fire hydrants purge water is a common way to keep the water quality high. This method, called “unidirectional flushing,” is okayed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and it’s probably being implemented somewhere in the city at all times.

“Personnel strategically close valves to direct water down a single water main creating a velocity that can scour the internal pipe wall. Though these actions may result in brief periods during which customers may observe discoloration in tap water, the water remains safe to drink,” Payton stated.

Even though unidirectional flushing seems to be a necessary evil, having 12 open in one area at once causes a huge water loss in a single community where most of the water goes directly down the drain. Workers reroute some of the water through the sanitary system to put it to some use, but for the most part, it’s wasted water.