Water Main Flushing

Over time, natural sediments can accumulate in the large water pipes (called mains) located beneath the streets. While these sediments are completely safe, they may affect water color, taste and odor. Water main flushing is the process of cleaning the interior of water mains and removing any accumulated sediment by sending a rapid flow of water through the mains. This rapid flow disrupts any sediment that may accumulate in the main over time, allowing us to filter and remove it.

No impacts on water services are expected during the flushing process and water will remain safe to drink; however, you may experience some temporary discoloration or sediment in your water.

Device connected to hydrant used to flush water mains

Water Main Flushing FAQs

The Water Main Flushing FAQs include information on routine system flushing, including how to contact the Authority if you are experiencing continued discoloration or sediment in your water after flushing has been completed in your neighborhood.

NO-DES Flushing Program

Sweetwater Authority’s complex distribution system, which brings water from our sources to customers' taps, contains 400 miles of pipeline. Over time, natural sediments can accumulate in these pipes. Though perfectly safe, these sediments can affect water taste, color and odor.

In order to improve water quality, the Sweetwater Authority (Authority) has begun a multi-year flushing program to clean all 400 miles of our pipelines. 

Traditional flushing methods release water from fire hydrants at a high speed, in order to “flush out” sediments, and the water eventually ends up in the storm drain system. Though quarterly hydrant flushing will still occur in certain small areas of our distribution system where necessary, the bulk of the system-wide flushing project will use an innovative technology called NO-DES, which delivers the same result using a fraction of the water. By using this water-efficient technology, the Authority is delivering on its commitment to use the best available technology and sound management practices.

The flushing program will occur over a three-year period. Customers will be notified before flushing occurs in their neighborhood, and may notice trucks and crews on their street while flushing is taking place. No impacts to water service are expected, and though a slight, temporary discoloration to water may occur during flushing, the water will remain safe to drink.