After pipe installations or repairs, EBMUD crews may flush the lines with large quantities of water to ensure water is clean and safe. When crews flush pipes, customers may see large volumes of water discharged into tanks or storm drains. Flushing is a critical step to keep your water safe by removing sediment and discolored water following a repair or new pipe installation.
This operational practice also provides an opportunity to identify broken or inoperable valves and hydrants which is important to ensure that they will work properly in the future.
During the flushing process, water is forced through the water main at a high speed and discharged through hydrants. The fast-moving water scours and cleans by removing sediment and discolored water that may be in the pipe.
EBMUD values conservation and water reuse, especially in times of drought, and works to reuse flushed water when possible by capturing the flushed water and reusing it to irrigate school playing fields, public grounds or our watershed lands.
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.
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.