Water Line Flushing
Water Line Flushing
Water line and hydrant flushing are routine maintenance that is performed regularly throughout the city’s water distribution system to clean pipes and ensure the highest water quality for you.
At times, this could result in brief periods of water discoloration at your tap due to the flushing operation. Rest assured, your water remains safe to use and drink while routine maintenance is underway.
City staff open fire hydrant valves to allow water to flow through the pipes. Opening the hydrants enhances water quality by flushing sediment from the main line pipes, verifies the proper operation of hydrants and valves, and ensures that the hydrant is operational in case of a fire emergency.
Hydrant flushing can happen at any time of year, but is usually scheduled during wetter months when water supplies are more plentiful. Larger mains are flushed first, then crews move to smaller mains. The flushing route is carefully planned to control the direction of the water.
When a hydrant is opened, there will be temporary incidences of discolored water while fine sediment particles are flushed. There are no health hazards associated with the discolored water.
- If you see a city crew flushing a hydrant on your street, avoid running tap water and using the washing machine or dishwasher until the flushing is done.
- If you see hydrant flushing crews working in the area, please treat them like any other road construction crew and drive carefully.
- If tap water is used during flushing, it may be discolored by fine sediment particles dislodged from the main line.
- If you see discolored water, shut off the tap and wait several minutes. Then check the clarity by running cold water for a few minutes, allowing new water to work its way into your pipes.
- If the water is still unclear, repeat this process. In some cases, there may be slight discoloration for a few hours.
- The discoloration affects only the appearance of the water—it does not affect water quality.
- There are no health hazards associated with discolored water.
- Avoid washing laundry until water runs clear at the tap.
- If pressure or volume seems low, check your faucet screens for trapped particles.
If you are experiencing problems with water quality or pressure after a flushing event, please contact the city’s Water Quality Hotline at 503-526-2208 with any questions.