FlushingStafford County Utilities Department routinely conducts Flushing throughout Stafford County each year. 
The hydrant flushing program is very important to the maintenance of the County's water distribution system. Flushing allows Stafford County to continue to deliver the highest quality water possible to our customers and ensures adequate water flow is available to firefighters, residents and businesses. The flushing process is a controlled procedure that draws water more forcefully through the distribution system removing the sediment, rust, debris or stagnant water that naturally accumulates in the water mains.

2022 Water Main Flushing Program

Improves water quality in the distribution system, and ensures a high level of disinfection in the County water mains. 


March 21, 2022 - End of May 2022

  •  Verifies the proper operation of fire hydrants and valves
  •  Helps find weaknesses in the water system
  •  Checks for closed valves and weak flows in the water mains
  •  Verifies adequate fire flows for fire fighting

During this flushing period, Stafford County will temporarily change the treatment process by using “free chlorine” in place of a combined chlorine that is used as the primary disinfectant throughout the year. This flushing process may also affect owners/operators of fish tanks, laundromats and other water-dependent operations. 

Crews will work each day, Monday through Friday (excluding holidays), from 7:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. 


  • Message boards will be placed throughout each scheduled flushing area to let residents know flushing will be occurring in that neighborhood. 
  • Utility trucks will be parked in front of the hydrants and crews will control and monitor the entire flushing process. Each hydrant takes approximately one hour to flush.
  • During the flushing process, customers may experience a short-term decrease in water pressure or discoloration of water. If you encounter such conditions, run your COLD water for five minutes.
  • You may notice a chlorine taste and odor in your drinking water while free chlorine is utilized. 

If you experience discoloration for a prolonged time or if you experience a significant loss of water pressure after flushing has occurred, please call our Utilities Department at (540) 658-8695. 

Free Chlorine Flushing FAQs


Why does the water system need to be routinely flushed?

When does flushing normally occur?

What should I do when I see Stafford Public Works personnel flushing hydrants in my area?

How will this affect my water?

What should I do if my water pressure or volume seems low after flushing?

Why does the water look funny after hydrant flushing?

Is it okay to consume sediment-laden or discolored water during temporary disturbance events?

What takes place during hydrant flushing?

Doesn't the hydrant flushing program waste water?

How can I find out when hydrant flushing will be performed in my area?

You may contact our main office at (540) 658-8616 during normal business hours and you will be transferred to someone in our Water Quality Division.