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Testing the waters
Hydrants to be opened in April
McMinnville Fire Department will be testing all its hydrants in April. City residents might experience rushing water outside and less-than-adequate pressure inside, among other issues. Pictured are firefighters Dylan Blair, left, and Will Rose.

McMinnville Fire Department will be opening the floodgates and testing fire hydrants in the city in April.
McMinnville Fire Chief Kendall Mayfield informed city officials this is a test. It is only a test.
“Next month we are going to be out-flowing hydrants,” said Mayfield. “If you get calls about water flowing all over the place, it could be us. We need to open them up. A lot of them haven’t been opened in three years. We have to open them up, let them run for three to four minutes and shut them back off.”
Fire flow tests are conducted on hydrants to determine water availability in planning for firefighting activities, sprinkler systems, and domestic water demand. The tests are also useful in determining the general condition of the water distribution system.
There might be possible negatives with reduced water pressure and discolored water.
“We used to do this every year,” said Mayfield. “Some of you might get complaints about water running down the street. People complain they’ve just washed their car and had to drive through a river of water in the road. They complain about dirty clothes in the washer. Some people get concerned when they see water gushing down the street.”
Occasionally, water becomes discolored after hydrant flushing. If this happens, run the cold water for a few minutes until the water clears. If it doesn’t clear the first time, wait a few minutes and try again. Avoid washing clothes until the water clears.
Testing the hydrants in April should take approximately two weeks. No date has been set.