Life cycle assessment for water distribution system decontamination procedures: Fire hydrants and flushing pond

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Civil, Environmental, and Geospatial Engineering


Flushing using fire hydrants is a very common way to get rid of contamination in any water distribution system. Unfortunately, this process directly exposes contaminated water to the environment. This contaminated water can end up in agricultural fields, natural water bodies, and even in treatment plants. One solution can be building a contaminant flushing pond to hold that water; however, the use of the pond also involves some environmental impact beginning from its construction phase. A life cycle assessment study has been performed using SimaPro software for both hydrant flushing and contaminant flushing pond processes, and the impacts have been assessed using the IMPACT 2002+ methodology. The results show that decontamination using flushing ponds can cause less environmental impact than decontamination using fire hydrants.

Publication Title

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2021: Planning a Resilient Future along America's Freshwaters - Selected Papers from the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2021