Flushed: More Information Floods Forth on City's Roaring Hydrants

The other day, we wrote about the proliferation of Water Department employees cracking open Mission Bay's fire hydrants, letting 'em rip, and then cooling their heels for up to three hours or more while untold quantities of Hetch Hetchy water gushed into the sewers.

Sure it was fun to look at — but three hours? We were told this is what it takes to ensure sedimentation doesn't gum up the fire hoses. Every once in a while “unidirectional flushing” is a necessity — even if it does induce car wash-like scenes on city streets.

Yesterday, Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue told us that the de-facto power-washing of Mission Bay's sidewalks has more uses than simply preventing clogged fire lines. It's also keeping you from drinking filth. This is the logical aftermath of the dreaded “brown water” complaints.

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