Flushing water lines

After pipe installations or repairs, EBMUD crews may flush the lines with water to ensure your water is clean and safe. When repairs are made in your neighborhood, you may want to flush your home faucets as well. Once water service is restored, turn on your front hose bib – the outdoor faucet at the front of the house – until the water runs clear. Also run cold water from the faucets inside your home for 1-3 minutes until clear.

EBMUD flushes pipes to remove sediment and discolored water following a repair or new pipe installation.  Flushing is necessary to keep your water safe.

EBMUD flushes pipes to remove sediment and discolored water following a repair or new pipe installation. Flushing is necessary to keep your water safe.

Why do we flush? 

Flushing cleans the inside of pipes by releasing water at high velocity to remove sediment and discolored water. EBMUD crews take steps to protect the environment when flushed water is released. 

Commitment to conservation and the environment

  • EBMUD values conservation and water reuse, especially in times of drought, and works to reuse flushed water when possible. 
  • EBMUD neutralizes chloraminated water before it enters storm drains to prevent impacts to aquatic life or habitats. 
  • Gravel bags and filter mats are used to remove sediment from the flushed water before it enters the storm drain. 

 Water quality inspectors collect water samples, which are analyzed to make sure they meet the highest standards.

Water quality inspectors collect water samples, which are analyzed to make sure they meet the highest standards.

What you might see at the street

Large volumes of water may be discharged into tanks or storm drains when crews flush pipes. During the work, they may be operating valves, staging equipment or rerouting traffic. Please remember to use caution in a construction zone. 

How does EBMUD check water quality?

Water quality inspectors collect samples at the worksite after a pipe is flushed and before it is placed in service, as required by the State Water Resources Control Board. Flushing and follow-up sampling help ensure our drinking water meets or surpasses all state and federal regulatory requirements. 

Is flushing necessary during the drought?

Flushing is an essential step required to clean pipes. The entire East Bay needs to conserve water during this drought, including EBMUD. When possible, we capture the flushed water and reuse it to irrigate school playing fields, public grounds or our watershed lands.