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Hydrant Maintenance and Line Flushing

Published: 3/28/23

On a biannual basis, the Charles Town Utility Board opens fire hydrants to flush water lines of accumulated sediments that can cause discoloration in customers’ homes and other buildings.  At each stop, a staff member will open a hydrant and take samples to measure water quality as well.  To flush the lines, water system workers systematically open fire hydrants and let the water flow at full force until water appears to clear. 

The purpose of the flushing program is to provide a safe high quality water supply to the customers of the Charles Town Utility Board.  Debris can enter and accumulate in a water distribution system.  Disinfectant residuals can deplete due to low usage and disinfectants may combine with materials in the system to form undesirable byproducts.

Flushing the water system on a regular basis removes sediment from lines and keeps the entire distribution system refreshed.  CTUB maintains over 80 miles of water lines throughout its service area. 

Even though the overall goal of the flushing is to reduce sediment in water lines, customers in or near a section of the city that is being flushed may temporarily experience heightened discoloration in their water.  This does not indicate that the water is unsafe to drink, cook with, or bathe in, but it would be advisable to avoid doing laundry until the discoloration of the water is eliminated. 

Customers experiencing cloudy or discolored water can try leaving taps open in a bathtub or sink for 20 minutes.  It is important not to run hot water, however, as that would fill the building’s water heater with water that contains sediments. 

You will be able to recognize our employees by a number of identifiers:

  • CTUB employees will be driving vehicles with the CTUB logo
  • CTUB employees will be wearing uniforms with the CTUB logo

If you have any questions or concerns about flushing or the crews in your area, please contact our Customers Service staff at (304) 725-2316 and they will be happy to assist you. 

CTUB uses the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper as well as its own website to announce hydrant flushing before it occurs.  Customers can sign up for website notifications at

Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s that taste?

During Spring flushing, some customers may notice a more pronounced chlorine taste or odor in the water. Filling a pitcher with water and placing it in the refrigerator will help to alleviate the chlorine taste.

Why does my water have a “milky” or “bubbly” appearance during flushing?

This is simply a result of the oxygen in the water being stirred up during flushing causing visible air bubbles. Letting the water sit in a glass for a few seconds will take care of the air bubbles. 

Why is my water discolored?

Flushing may result in a temporary discoloration and the presence of sediment in your water.  These conditions are not harmful and should be of very short duration.  If noticed, avoid doing laundry during this time (while crews are on your street or in your immediate area) to avoid discoloration.  If water remains discolored or cloudy for an extended timeframe contact CTUB at (304) 725-2316. 

Will my water pressure be affected? 

Some customers may notice slight pressure fluctuations when our crews are working in their area.  Pressures will return to normal once the flushing has finished.