Line Flushing

March 3, 2020: Flushing begins in Canyon Lake, Tuscany Hills and Canyon Hills area

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) is kicking off its water flushing program to maintain water quality throughout its service area.

“Flushing is a regular part of ensuring our customers receive high-quality water 24/7,” said Jase Warner, EVMWD’s director of operations. “This preventative maintenance activity not only verifies that the hydrants in our area are working correctly but it also removes sediments and other deposits that naturally accumulate in water pipes.”

During the months of March and April, flushing is scheduled to take place between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. for the following communities in EVMWD’s service area:

•           Canyon Lake – March

•           Tuscany Hills – Late March and early April

•           Canyon Hills – April

Regular water flushing is required by the State Water Resources Control Board. In addition, it is an important part of EVMWD’s water maintenance system as it controls bacteria, such as biofilm growth that can occur when water in a pipeline has lower demand; removes many deposits, sediment and other materials that can affect taste and odor; reduces corrosion through scouring the inside of the water pipeline; and ensures that hydrants and valves are working properly in an emergency.

The water flushing process forces water through the water main at a high speed. This water is then discharged through hydrants. Water that is flushed through the pipelines travels down into neighborhood gutters and eventually makes its way back to Canyon Lake – one of EVMWD’s water storage areas – for use at a later time.

Customers may notice a temporary reduction in water quality and water pressure in their home while flushing is in process on their street. When hydrant flushing occurs, customers may observe slightly discolored water coming from their faucets. This discoloring is temporary and only affects the appearance of water; it does not cause a health or safety risk.

If water is discolored after water flushing, run cold tap water for a few minutes and water should become clear.

If customers experience discoloration for a prolonged time or experience a significant loss of water pressure following hydrant flushing, they should call EVMWD’s Operations Department at 951-674-3146 x8305 for assistance.

About flushing:

Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District (EVMWD) routinely opens fire hydrants to blast stagnated water and sediment from local water mains. The presence of fine sediment in the water system poses no public health hazard, however the accumulation of sediment may cause water to become discolored or develop an unpleasant taste and odor.   

Routine flushing ensures EVMWD is delivering safe and high-quality household water that meets California’s strict quality standards, which are enforced by the California Department of Public Health. Regular clearing helps protect pipelines from blockages and corrosion.  More than 1,700 fire hydrants and blow-offs and more than 600 miles of water pipelines ranging in size from 4-inch to 42-inch cover EVMWD’s 96-square-mile service area.

Every year, EVMWD personnel collect more than 12,000 routine water samples from the water lines to test them for salts, metals and potential contaminants. Chlorine is neutralized from the water. This is recorded and reported to the local Regional Water Quality Control board which determines water discharge requirements. 

When will flushing begin?

EVMWD field maintenance crews conduct their flushing program on an as needed basis, in order to maintain water quality while still being mindful of resources. This process requires crews to flush each hydrant or water line for approximately 1 minute, or 400 gallons of water, each time. Some “hot spots” are flushed as often as once a month to ensure EVMWD is delivering quality water to our customers.

What time of day will flushing occur?

Flushing can occur anytime if we receive a water quality complaint. Staff will investigate and, if it determined flushing is needed, EVMWD personnel will flush the lines to improve the water quality. 

How will this affect me?

Try not to use water during flushing. If you do experience discolored water stop using the water and open a hose bib as close to the meter as possible. This will minimize the amount of discolored water that enters your plumbing. Once the water is clear in the front hose bib you can then open the faucets in the house to flush any remaining discolored water. The discolored water is not harmful but it is not recommended for human consumption. Your water service should not be interrupted. However, if you notice any difficulties with water flow, color or taste that do not resolve please notify EVMWD at the number listed below.

Isn’t line flushing a big waste of water during a severe shortage?

EVMWD is always mindful of the amount of water being used during the flushing program. Water flushed from the lines is not wasted, so water will be sent to the District’s sewer collection system, where it will be conveyed to one of the District’s three waste water reclamation plants, treated to a level acceptable to the Water Resources Control Board and returned to our system as recycled water. If the collection system is not within reach, the flushed water will be collected at the local storm drain and diverted to one of our two lakes, Canyon Lake or Lake Elsinore.

For assistance please call the District Operations Department at 951-674-3146 ext 8305.