What is Flushing?
Water Resources conducts a comprehensive water line flushing program throughout our system. Flushing is a process that systematically moves water through the City's distribution system. This process utilizes water force to scour out materials that accumulate in the City’s pipes. Water pipes are usually flushed by opening fire hydrants or at special valves.
Why are we flushing?
Because water mains are sized to allow adequate and safe flows for fire protection, water typically is moving through the underground pipelines at less than 2 miles per hour. This slow movement causes sediment, including rust and mineral particles, to build up over time and accumulate along the pipe’s bottom. This buildup can restrict water flow in the pipes and contribute to corrosion and water color problems.
What should I do if I turn on a faucet and the water coming out is discolored?
Should you experience discolored water or your water appears to be cloudy, do not be alarmed. It is recommended you do not use the water or do laundry for about two hours; this will give the sediment time to settle. After you have waited for this time period, run your cold water faucet(s), prefereably an outside spigot, for about five minutes or until the water is clear.
If the water does not clear within a couple of hours, notify Water Resources at 423-547-6300 Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
How will this affect me?
Usually, you will not be aware that flushing is even taking place in your neighborhood. Flushing is generally conducted between the hours of 7:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. However, flushing may also occur during evening and night hours, as well as weekends as needed.
Select fire hydrants will be opened to flush the water pipes. It typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to flush each hydrant. While the hydrant(s) are being flushed, area businesses and residents may experience discolored water and a pressure drop. Your water service should not be interrupted. If you have no water pressure, please notify Water Resources at 423-547-6300. Additionally, you will notice wet streets in your area from the flushed mains.