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Waltham residents should look out for rusty water during August due to fire hydrant testing

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  July 27, 2012 05:17 PM

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Waltham Fire Department
As Waltham Fire Department workers conduct fire hydrant tests throughout the city starting Aug. 1, fire officials are warning residents that their water might appear rusty in the weeks to come.

All of Waltham will be tested throughout the month of August, but fire officials do not know the exact dates of specific test locations, as it will depend on emergency calls and testing availability, said Deputy Chief Cliff Richardson.

"We have to open the hydrants to check the water in the barrel, which will stir up the water and loosen rust in the pipes," Richardson said.

Richardson said if residents notice rusty water in their homes, they can run their cold water faucets until the color has returned back to normal.

Richardson said while the water does not prove particularly harmful if ingested, "If I saw rusty water, I wouldn’t drink it," he said.

He also cautioned not to do laundry during the testing times, as the rusty water could damage clothing color.

While the fire department hopes to be done within the month of August, testing could continue on into September.

Citizens can watch for fire engines in their neighborhood as a sign that hydrant testing is in progress, fire officials said.

Richardson said residents can contact the fire department or the water department with any questions or concerns.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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