From time to time, you may notice our crews opening valves or fire hydrants and running water down your street and into a storm drain. Although it may appear to be wasteful, this practice—called “flushing”—is an important maintenance activity for our water system and allows us to deliver the highest quality water to our customers.
Flushing removes mineral and sediment deposits that build up over time in our underground system of pipes. While the buildup is not harmful to customers, it can create taste and odor issues if not flushed out. There are several reasons we must flush our water mains.
We use best management practices to ensure activities are safe for the environment and use water quality indicators to determine exactly how much flushing is required for each situation. Unfortunately, because of the high flow of water required to flush, residents cannot collect this water straight from the flushing hydrant.
Immediately following the flushing, some residents may notice a slight discoloration in their water. While this water is still safe to consume, you can clear this discoloration by first running outdoor spigots until they run clear and then running interior bath tubs until they run clear. Once complete, this flushing improves the water quality delivered to your home or business.