TWW to Inspect Fire Hydrants and Flush Water Mains Throughout Its System
Trenton, N.J. — Trenton Water Works will conduct two routine, water-industry-standard
procedures in its five-municipality service area in the days ahead: inspection of fire hydrants
for optimum fire protection and unidirectional flushing to maintain high water quality.
"We conduct fire hydrant inspections annually to ensure operability and appropriate pressure.
Fire protection is a critical part of our mission," said Michael Walker, Chief of Communications
and Community Relations at Trenton Water Works, which is operated by the city’s Department
of Water & Sewer. "Our water-distribution-system technicians use unidirectional flushing to
clear 4 to 16-inch water mains of sediment and other pipe deposits, which maintains high water
Fire Hydrant Inspections
Beginning in Trenton on March 16, TWW’s construction and maintenance unit will begin
inspecting 3,501 fire hydrants system-wide for mechanical operability, pressure and
appearance. This year, hydrants will be sandblasted and color-coated to indicate total flow
volume in gallons per minute. The schedule is as follows: Trenton, March 16 to May 24; Ewing
Township, May 25 to June 7; Lawrence Township, June 8-21; Hamilton Township, June 22 to
July 5; and Hopewell Township, July 7-20.
Unidirectional Flushing (UDF)
Starting on April 6, TWW’s water-distribution technicians will operate valves and open fire
hydrants to flush water mains and clear them of sediment and other deposits, a process that
maintains high water quality. The work will be conducted Monday to Thursday evenings,
between 8 p.m. and midnight, to minimize inconvenience to residents. The UDF schedule is as
follows: Ewing Township, April 6-30; Hopewell Township, May 4-28; Lawrence Township, June
1-30; Hamilton Township, July 6 to August 30; and Trenton, September 1-30.
Hydrant inspections and high-velocity, water-main flushing may cause temporary water
discoloration, also called "brown water.” This is when deposits from iron pipes dissolve into the
water delivered to the tap. In these situations, we recommend that residents do not drink, cook
or do laundry with brown water, and run the cold tap until the water is clear.
"We expect minimal inconvenience to our service-area residents,” stressed Walker. “However,
some may experience brown water, a temporary condition when fire hydrants are opened. You
can easily restore clarity by allowing the tap closest to the home’s water meter to run for at
least 10 minutes until the water runs clear.”
Trenton Water Works is among the largest publicly owned, urban water utilities in the United States. It supplies an
average of 27 million gallons of Delaware River-sourced drinking water per day to 63,000 metered customers. It services
more than 200,000 people in Trenton, parts of Hamilton Township, Ewing Township, Lawrence Township and
Hopewell Township in Mercer County, New Jersey. Established more than 200 years ago, TWW operates a
60-million-gallon water-filtration plant and water-distribution system that includes a 100-million-gallon reservoir. TWW’s
system has 683 miles of water mains varying in size from 4 to 48 inches in diameter, three pump stations, and six
interconnections between TWW and other water suppliers.