Fire Hydrant Flow Testing Program

ENWIN Water Operations performs fire hydrant flow testing as part of annual system maintenance. Under the current preventative maintenance program, the City of Windsor is divided into 5 major flow test areas. One of these areas (approximately 20% of the city) is flow tested annually. 

The 2024 fire hydrant flow testing program will commence Monday, May 6th and is expected to run to September 30th, Monday to Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. The boundaries of this year's program include: Detroit River (to the North), Tecumseh Road West (to the South), Walker Road (to the East) and Huron Church, College and Prince (to the West). 

2024 Area Map      

Flushing to continue June 12, 2024 in area #38. Area limits are Erie Street , Howard Ave, Riverside Dr and Caron Ave. Click here to view full map of this area.

Customers located in the targeted hydrant flow testing areas may notice some mild discolouration and sedimentation while the flow testing is taking place. ENWIN assures customers that this is not harmful and should clear up quickly when testing is complete. 

While we are in your neighbourhood, please follow these recommendations: 

  • While discoloured water is not harmful, wait until water clears before drinking. 

  • Avoid doing laundry until hydrant flow testing is completed and water runs clear.

  • Don't fill your pools or hot tubs.

  • When hydrant flow testing is complete, run cold water through your interior faucets until water is clear. 

Any homeowner who continues to see discolouration in their water 12 hours after flow testing is completed should call ENWIN via the "Contact Us" page.

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is the purpose of fire hydrant flow testing? 

Fire hydrant flow testing is conducted for many beneficial reasons. First and foremost, fire hydrant flow testing is performed to confirm the flow capacity at each hydrant, which enables ENWIN to colour code individual hydrants for firefighting and insurance purposes. Colour coded reflective disks are attached to each hydrant indicating that specific hydrants maximum flow capacity. ENWIN previously painted hydrant bonnet caps, but now use reflective disks as these disks are more visible during nighttime. See below for the colour code chart indicating fire hydrant flow rates. Lastly, flow testing also helps ensure all hydrants are working properly.    

How can I find out where Fire Hydrant Flow testing will take place?

There are many ways we communicate details regarding our fire hydrant flow testing program. Our bill (include e-billing) includes an insert indicating the boundaries within which testing will take place every summer. Additionally, an annual announcement is published in the Windsor Star newspaper outlining the test area for the current year. For more specific communication that occurs while fire hydrant flow testing is in progress, please refer to @enwinutilities social media channels. Additionally, personal visits are conducted, and door-hangers placed in areas where flow testing is currently being performed. 

What should I do if I have already used the water after testing started? 

If you notice a discolouration or disturbed sediment, you should immediately stop using the water for cleaning or washing.  While the discoloured water is not harmful, ENWIN recommends waiting until the water is clear before drinking or using. After fire hydrant flow testing is completed in your neighbourhood, turn on the cold-water faucet to allow any disturbed water to flow through the internal plumbing system.  If water is drawn into a washing machine, the load should be re-run after fire hydrant flow testing is completed and water is again clear.  This load should be washed in the cold-water cycle to avoid discoloured water or dedimentation being drawn into your water heater.  If the customer finds laundry has been stained, call ENWIN for an additive that will remove these stains. 

How long does hydrant testing last?  How will I know when it is complete?

Fire hydrant flow testing on a particular street usually lasts no longer than 30 minutes from start to finish and may end sooner.  The actual flow of the hydrant only lasts two to four minutes.  If you see the crews have left the site, that means the work is complete.  However, tests being conducted on adjacent streets may still cause disturbed water.  This is why we suggest that the customers allow an entire day for this process. 

If I see disturbed water, how long should I wait before testing the water to see if it is clear? 

Most disturbed water events will clear within 5-15 minutes.  Run the cold water tap until clear.