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In the flush of hydrants (with video)

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Hancock city maintenance director Adam Hanson flushes a fire hydrant on May 1. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times2 / 3
Hancock city maintenance director Adam Hanson flushes one of the city's fire hydrants on May 1. The city has 72 hydrants. Rae Yost/Stevens County Times3 / 3

It's a maintenance job that happens in cities throughout Minnesota in the spring: Hydrant flushing.

Hancock city maintenance director Adam Hanson is flushing fire hydrants in the city this week.

The hydrants are flushed to test flow capacity if the hydrants are used in a fire and to remove sediment such as rust.

Hancock has 72 fire hydrants. Hanson said on May 1 that he expected to flush all 72 in four to five days. The flushing is daily task but there is other city work to do as well.

The hydrant is opened by loosening a cap on the side and the cap on the top. Hanson will also open the other side caps to make sure the hydrant bleeds.

He attaches a spout-like device on the one open side cap so water sprays through that device into a street or ditch instead of on residential or commercial property.

The hydrant sprays water for a a minute or two. Hanson closes all the caps. Records the hydrant's number in a log and moves on to the next one.

"It's nice when they all work well," Hanson said on May 1. "So far, it's been good."

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