Water Main Flushing


The Water Department commences its annual program of flushing water mains within the District around October every year. You may experience loss of water pressure or a brief period of no water. When the water pressure returns, you may experience the water supply showing sediment and discoloration. This sediment is bacterially harmless, however it may cause some discoloration to laundry if not detected. To avoid any inconvenience check the water color prior to using. If you do experience dirty water, simply run a cold water tap for several minutes until the water clears up. This may be a good time to open an outside tap and water trees or shrubs until the water runs clear.


Water mains are primarily sized for fire flow which means that the speed of flow under normal use by customers is generally very low. As a result it is common for sediment to accumulate in the water mains and then to be stirred up by heavier than normal water flow such as opening a fire hydrant. Most water distribution systems have some accumulation of sediment that has settled in the bottom of the mains. How much sediment exists is a function of the quality of the water source, treatment and the type of piping. In most cases the sediment can be adequately removed by periodically flushing the main.

The District of Peachland has a regular flushing program that keeps the mains relatively clean and minimizes ‘dirty water’ complaints. In the fall, water main flushing and hydrant testing is done after the heavy water use of summer is over. In some places, water main flushing can also be done in spring to rid the system of sediment that has accumulated during the winter, before flow rates increase in the summer sprinkling season, however the District of Peachland is subject to spring freshet, where the spring runoff water stirs up sediment creating a turbidity level that is monitored daily from April through June.

Generally, water main flushing begins at the well or treatment plant and works outward, flowing each hydrant in turn until the water is relatively clear. Methods of diffusing the outflow of water from the hydrant is considered for each location so as not to damage public or private property.