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Ypsilanti hydrant work could temporarily turn area water rust colored

Fire hydrant
Maggie Osterberg
Creative Commons
Fire hydrant

Starting today and over the next couple months, Ypsilanti area residents might see some discolored water coming out of their sinks and bathtubs.

Every fall, the Ypsilanti Community Utilities Authority does routine maintenance and winterizes the more than 3,200 fire hydrants in the area. They repair them if needed, but the most important work they do is to clear the water out of the hydrant barrels. This keeps the barrels from freezing in the winter, which makes them useless to firefighters.

Michael Shaffer from the YCUA says this process can shake loose some minerals and turn the water in your house rust colored.

“The best thing to do is run the cold water through your bathtub, and the reason for that is your sinks, your spigots, all those, they actually have a screen on them to catch debris, so you don’t really want to run it through that because you don’t want to get debris in that screen, unless you want to clean it out.”

Once the hydrants are inspected, they are given a colored tag. Shaffer wants to remind the public not to remove those tags.

The work is expected to be completed by November 1st.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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