What does flushing the system accomplish?

With the most recent bout of extreme temperatures ending this week, the flushing is intended to move fresh, colder water through the system at a rapid pace and 'flush out' any stagnant and higher temperature water from the system.

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1. Why is the City of Malden doing hydrant flushing?
2. How common is the water issue?
3. What causes poor water quality to happen?
4. What does flushing the system accomplish?
5. Do I need to do anything before using or drinking the water?
6. What is the City doing to address this long term?
7. I have additional questions about the hydrant flushing. Who should I call?