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Citywide hydrant testing – and what to do if you experience temporarily discolored water 

Photo by John Odegard

Every year, firefighters test all fire hydrants in Seattle to make sure they are working properly and will provide sufficient water when needed for fighting a fire. This work saves lives and property.  

Working in collaboration with Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), which maintains and repairs the fire hydrants, the Seattle Fire Department sets out to test hydrants during the warmer months. Fire hydrant testing is happening now through fall. Hydrant testing occurs daily between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. 

If you live near a fire hydrant that has been recently tested, your drinking water may appear discolored for up to a few hours. This is normal and temporary, and the water is still safe. 

If you experience discolored water, Seattle Public Utilities recommends running the cold water for a few minutes to see if it is clearing or still discolored. If the water does not clear, let the water sit for 1 to 2 hours. Then run cold water for a few minutes in your bathtub or shower. Do not run the hot water to try to clear the water. If the water remains discolored, please contact SPU’s 24/7 Operations Response Center at (206) 386-1800.