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The Department of Public Works is reminding residents that crews will be out in full force over the next several weeks flushing hydrants throughout the village.
Flushing began on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and will continue through Sept. 23. Public Works Director Roderick Ysaguirre says crews started at the water treatment plant (WTP) and will flush outward into the community.
"We begin flushing northward into the Industrial Park and then into West and East Lincolnwood," said Ysaguirre. "Then, we start again at the WTP and flush west, east, and southward."
Ysaguirre adds flushing the entire village can take an average of two to three weeks. He says it is dependent on staffing availability or the need to handle other emergencies. So, flushing will be an ongoing effort, as time, staffing, and resources allow until they get through the entire village.
The department flushes hydrants so water does not stagnate in the system. Public Works says the vital procedure improves water quality by clearing iron and other mineral deposits from the water mains. Flushing also ensures adequate water flow is available to firefighters, residents, and businesses.
While crews are flushing the hydrants, residents should expect a short disruption to their services in addition to water discoloration. Ysaguirre says there is not a specific amount of time residents and businesses may experience the disruption but says it can take anywhere from five to 20 minutes to flush a hydrant. He says his department is flushing every hydrant in the village.
The department is reminding residents not to wash their clothes while flushing is happening in their area, as the laundry could become stained. Additionally, Public Works says despite there being no known health risk if someone drinks the discolored water, which comes from the iron (rust) in the pipes, people should run the water until it becomes clear. If a person accidentally washes their clothes during the flushing, Public Works says to keep the laundry wet and pick up a bottle of "Red-B-Gone," at Village Hall at no cost.
Where in Park Forest hydrants will be flushed and when is yet to be determined. Residents are encouraged however to track the process of crews as they make their way through the community by viewing the Hydrant Flushing Map on the village’s website by clicking the link below.
Ysaguirre says residents and businesses should be mindful that though flushing may not be happening in their area, they may still experience some disruptions.
"Residents and businesses should keep in mind that water mains are all interconnected," said Ysaguirre. "So, water does not stop flowing at a certain road, intersection, or area. In other words, the map or signs may suggest that flushing is not in ‘my’ area or on that side of the street, so they may still experience some level of water disruption."
Hydrant flushing occurs only on weekdays. No flushing is scheduled on weekends.
For questions, please contact the Department of Public Works at 708-503-7702.