Fire Hydrant Testing May Cause Water Discoloration


hydrant testing photo

Cambridge Water and Fire departments will be conducting annual fire hydrant maintenance and testing weekdays between 9 a.m.-2 p.m., through June 28. This process helps ensure maximum hydrant operability but it can disturb sediment that naturally occurs in the water piping system and may cause discoloration of water from faucets and toilets for several hours after testing. Discolored water does not usually present a health hazard though concerned residents should avoid drinking it.

Check your water before doing laundry as the discolored water may stain clothes. The Water Department can provide a wash additive to remove stains. Please see the schedule at or call the Cambridge Fire Department at 617-349-4921 between 8-8:45 a.m. for daily test locations. For questions on water quality, call Ed Dowling, Cambridge Water Department at 617-349-4780. To report discolored water, call the Water Department at 617-349-4770.

Below are general reference dates for Cambridge neighborhoods:

CENTRAL SQUARE Engine 2 May 6-17

WEST CAMBRIDGE Engine 9 May 6-17

RIVER STREET AREA Engine 6 May 20-31

CONCORD AVE AREA Engine 8 May 20-31

EAST CAMBRIDGE Engine 3 June 3-14

NORTH CAMBRIDGE Engine 4 June 3-14

INMAN SQUARE Engine 5 June 17-28

HARVARD SQUARE Engine 1 June 17-28

Please note that these dates for testing remain flexible due to weather and Fire Department activities.

For a map of the fire hydrant testing areas, please visit the Water Department's website and click on their hydrant testing link in their 'news and notices' section:

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Cambridge City Hall

795 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA, 02139
Ph: 617-349-4000
TTY: 617-349-4242

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Monday: 8:30am-8pm
Tuesday-Thursday: 8:30am-5pm
Friday: 8:30am-12pm

Richard C. Rossi
City Manager

Lisa C. Peterson
Deputy City Manager