System Flushing

Click here to view current 2020 Flushing schedules, ranging from Feb. 3rd - April 17th.

What is the Flushing Program?

Flushing in the SLVWD distribution system occurs on an annual basis and is designed to improve water quality.  Flushing water mains is a standard industry practice used to remove accumulated sediment and biofilm in the water distribution system by flushing water at high velocities primarily through fire hydrants.  This high velocity flushing scours the inside of water mains.  Flushing of mains is performed by certified Distribution system operators.

What should I expect when flushing is occurring on my street?

During flushing events you may experience cloudy and/or discolored water while crews are flushing in or on the vicinity of your street. Although your water is still safe to drink, the District encourages customers not use wate, especially not laundry, as water use during flushing events could draw discolored water into your plumbing fixtures, and cause staining of clothes. If SLVWD crews are flushing in the vicinity of your residence, but not on your street, you may notice lower than normal water pressure.

Why do we flush?

The buildup of sediment and biofilms in water mains can restrict water flow, contribute to pipe corrosion and deteriorate water quality.

What is in the sediment?

The sediment found in water distribution systems is largely made up of precipitated iron and manganese.  Iron and manganese are common metals found in groundwater wells throughout the nation.  Although these metals do not pose a health threat to consumers, iron and manganese can affect the aesthetic quality of water.

Flushing seems like a waste of water…

Although flushing may appear as a waste of water, it is actually a small price to pay to maintain water quality and the integrity of the distribution system.  The SLVWD strives to flush during periods of high surface water stream flow in order to save ground water aquifer storage. 

Flushing has just stopped on my street and my water is still colored:

During periods of high water flows, such as while flushing is occurring, the sediment containing iron and manganese can become dislodged, resulting in discolored water episodes.  This discolored water can sometimes cause the staining of clothes and plumbing fixtures.  If you notice discolored water coming out of your faucet, we recommend not using the water for about two hours to allow the sediment to settle.  After this time has elapsed, run all faucets for 5 minutes and make sure the water is clear.  If the water does not clear after the two hour time window has elapsed, contact SLVWD staff at (831) 338-2153.