Water Main/Hydrant Flushing Project

HBPW water main/hydrant flushing is scheduled to begin May/June in certain areas. Learn more about the flushing program and areas affected. 

 

What's the HBPW Flushing Program? 

To improve water quality and minimize discoloration, HBPW water mains are comprehensively flushed by a technique known as unidirectional flushing. The procedure is performed in warm-weather months and invovles the systematic opening and closing of valves and hydrants, one section of main at a time, to force water through the pipes at high velocity, removing accumulated mineral sediment until the water is clear.

What You Should Know & How It Might Affect  You

1. You may experience periods of low pressure.
Typically, the operation itself can take from a few minutes to over an hour, but the average is 30 minutes. If you experience a complete loss of pressure or the temporary low pressure causes a problem, please contact HBPW at 616.355.1500.

2. Flushing may lead to discolored water. This is okay! 
Flushing operations may also lead to discolored water, which can be drawn from homes and businesses if the water is being used during or immediately following the flushing. Such events should affect customers for a few hours at most. The discoloration is caused by iron (red color) or manganese (black color) particles being dislodged from the water main, which can stain porcelain and laundry. If discoloration occurs, open the cold tap nearest the water meter - usually a basement sink - to full flow until the water runs clear. In some situations, this may take 5 to 10 minutest. It is also advised that you make sure your water is clear before doing laundry or other projects for which discolored water could cause problems. 

3. Schedule of Flushing
A precise schedule of flushing operations is difficult to determine more than a week in advance. If flushing is going to begin in your area soon, you will receive a direct mail communication via postcard.