What does it mean to flush a water main and why are you doing it?

Water main flushing is the process of cleaning or “scouring” the interior of water distribution mains (pipes) by sending a rapid flow of water through the mains. Distribution mains convey water to homes, businesses and hydrants in your neighborhood.

Flushing helps maintain water quality. The water entering distribution mains is of very high quality; however, water quality can deteriorate in distribution mains if the mains are not properly managed.  Flushing the lines removes sediments from the mains and helps to remove water that can get caught in dead ends.

When you see a ‘Water Main Flushing in Progress’ sign in your neighborhood, it means that some part of the area is being flushed.  Signs may stay up for quite a while since flushing is routine maintenance, and sometimes gets bumped by more emergent work.  Most individual customers are only directly affected for a few hours each as we flush past their property.

Sometimes during flushing, some sediment may get into your home’s plumbing.  If this happens, please be patient and allow your cold water to run for a few minutes at full velocity. During this time, you should avoid using hot water to prevent sediment accumulation in your hot water tank.