Fire Hydrant Releases 90,000 Gallons of Water in Canton

An open fire hydrant released tens of thousands of gallons of water onto a dead end road in Canton.

Typically, water companies will flush its distribution systems every year, to clear out built up sediment and keeps the drinking water safe.

The process usually lasts a couple minutes, but that wasn’t the case in Canton.

Marilyn Wright tells the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters, “I want to find out, what is going on? Have it shut off and not wasted.”

Wright lives on Powder Mill Road and said she was concerned about wasted water on her dead end road.

It started Monday, after she left home to run some errands.

When she arrived back, around 12:30 p.m., she found a flow meter attached to the hydrant on her property.

Not unusual, according to Wright, because the Connecticut Water Company has flushed the hydrant plenty of times in the past.

But hours soon passed, day turned to night, and the water was still pumping out onto the street until late Tuesday morning.

The meter appeared to top off at 247,000 from the Nepaug Reservoir.

“Knowing there’s droughts going on everywhere and people coulda’ been using this water no matter what they’re up to. it didn’t need to be wasted and run into the gutter on property here and we should’ve been notified too,” added Wright.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, Connecticut is currently experiencing moderate drought levels.

Online, the Connecticut Water Company urges customers to conserve, and even rolled out its 2016 Water Drop Challenge late last year; providing financial incentives for those who reduce water consumption.

During NBC Connecticut's interview with the Canton couple, a water company worker arrived to close the hydrant off.

Turns out, according to a company spokesman, David Radka with Connecticut Water Company:

“The total amount flushed was around 90,000 gallons, which appears to have been a bit more than is usually flushed at this location, but not excessively so. the meter has been used at other locations so the 247,000 gallons is a cumulative reading. While this may seem like a lot of water, it is unfortunately necessary to ensure customers throughout the system continue to receive high quality drinking water.”

To put it in perspective, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the average home uses more than a 100,000 gallons of water a year. 

“Nobody notified us, except someone at the water company has been telling us that there’s a drought going on and to conserve, and as far as I can see it is being wasted,” Wright said. 

A water company spokesman adds with higher temps these days, it can be necessary to take added steps to make sure they maintain a sufficient level of chlorine throughout the system to provide for proper disinfection.

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