Water Main Flushing
The water main flushing program is currently paused, and will tentatively resume in May 2022.
As part of our regular water system maintenance, you might see crews out flushing Leduc’s water main lines through our fire hydrants.
This is called unidirectional flushing, which removes any sediment or mineral deposits in the pipe system and helps to maintain our distribution lines, which supports the delivery of high quality water.
The water main flushing process involves:
- Closing valves in a strategic sequence in a specific section of pipe, followed by the opening of a fire hydrant to create a single direction flow of water at a high velocity.
- The high-speed water picks up any sediment or mineral deposits in the pipe and carries it through the fire hydrant onto the street.
While flushing occurs, water service will continue; however, some residents in the area may notice a temporary change in water pressure or cloudy water, which will resolve when the flushing is complete.
If possible, we recommend you avoid using water when a hydrant is being flushed. Once flushing is completed, wait 30 minutes and then run your cold water taps or turn on an outside hose for about 15 minutes or until the water runs clear again. We encourage you to verify the water is clear before using it (cooking, laundry, etc.).
Why are you flushing the water mains?
Over time, sediment and silt can build up inside the pipes of our water distribution system. Flushing the lines is a preventative measure that helps us to maintain the pipes and the quality of our water. It also helps us to test our water distribution system and ensure everything is working properly.
How are the mains flushed?
The Utility and Fire Services teams have incorporated two types of flushing into routine maintenance programs.
- Unidirectional flushing involves the closing of valves in a strategic sequence in a specific section of pipe, followed by the opening of a fire hydrant to create a single direction flow of water at a high velocity. The high-speed water picks up any sediment or mineral deposits in the pipe and carries it through the fire hydrant onto the street. During this process, water main valves are checked to ensure they’re working properly.
- Hydrant inspections involve water being flushed from the hydrants and inspecting each hydrant for any repairs or routine maintenance that may be required, to ensure that the hydrant will work properly when it is needed.
Will my water be turned off?
No – water service will be maintained while flushing is completed; however, residents in the area may notice a change in water pressure or cloudy water. If possible, we recommend you avoid using water when a hydrant is being flushed to minimize the discolored water from being drawn into your home or business.
Is the cloudy water unsafe to use?
This is a routine operation, and your water service will continue; however, we do recommend that residents refrain from using the water while the hydrant is being flushed. Once the hydrant flush is complete, wait 30 minutes and then run your cold water taps or turn on an outside hose for about 15 minutes or until the water runs clear again. We encourage you to verify the water is clear before using it (cooking, laundry, etc.).
How long will the cloudy water or change in water pressure last?
Any changes to your water pressure or clarity should resolve once the flushing work is completed. We recommend waiting 30 minutes after the flushing is done, and then running your taps until the water returns to clear. If the cloudy water lasts longer than three hours, please call your Utility Services team at 780-980-7133.
Do I need to do anything?
You can expect water service to continue uninterrupted, although you may experience temporarily low water pressure or cloudy water, which should resolve when the flushing is completed. If at all possible, we recommend avoid using your water while crews are flushing a hydrant in your area. Thirty minutes after the Utility Services team is finished flushing the hydrant, residents are encouraged to run their taps until the water returns to clear. If the water is still cloudy three hours after the hydrant flushing is finished, please call Utility Services at 780-980-7133.
How long does flushing take?
The time required to complete a section of pipe depends on many factors, such as the state and length of pipe being flushed. Utility Services systematically flushes and tests the lines valves and hydrants. The hydrants need to be flushed until the water runs clear and passes a water quality field test. Further, if water valves do not operate as expected, other valves may need to be worked in order to flush the line in the right direction.
When will you be flushing in my neighbourhood?
The tentative schedule for flushing is available below. This schedule is subject to change, and may be impacted by equipment maintenance requirements or weather. It will be updated regularly throughout the summer. Your Utility Services team will also post road signs when they are working in your subdivision.
Will this affect parking in my street?
If any changes to street parking are required, they will be temporary and signs will be put out. We ask that residents please follow the signage directions and know that it is temporary.
Does this waste a lot of water?
Unidirectional water main flushing is more effective than traditional flushing, so we have to do it less often and can run the water for a shorter amount of time (using less water).
How often does water main flushing have to happen?
Ideally, the water system should be flushed once every two years; however, some areas may not get flushed every year, while others might require additional or more frequent flushing.