Unauthorized Hydrant Use Causing Brown Water - PVWC Seeks Public's Help


(Clifton, N.J. June 01, 2023) – Passaic Valley Water Commission (PVWC) is asking its customers for their assistance in combating unauthorized hydrant use by contractors. PVWC urges residents to report any instances of unauthorized hydrant use promptly by calling customer service at 973-340-4300 or emailing customerservice@pvwc.com.

“PVWC recently investigated an area that had a high concentration of discolored water complaints,” said Executive Director Jim Mueller. “We deployed a drone over the area and within 5 minutes, we found a line of paving contractors waiting to illegally fill up their water trucks. While unauthorized use of a hydrant is not the only reason for main breaks and discolored water, it certainly plays a huge role in it,” Mueller added.

Unauthorized hydrant use poses a significant risk to the integrity of the water system. When an untrained person opens a hydrant, the quick burst of water causes sediment from the pipe to stir and cause discoloration. The quick burst, also known as water hammer, can also cause a main to break, which can be an interruption of water service to homes in the area until the break is repaired. PVWC employees and fire department personnel are the only people authorized to operate hydrants. By enlisting the help of our valued customers, PVWC hopes to curb this illegal activity. It will also help to ensure our customers have the clean drinking water they expect when their faucets are turned on.

Again, PVWC urges residents who witness any suspicious activity near hydrants or notice excessive water flow from
a hydrant to report it immediately by calling customer service at 973-340-4300 or emailing


press release via: Bryan Frierson | Asst. Public Information Officer | Passaic Valley Water Commission

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