Water Line Flushing Program
Every summer, the City of Bathurst activates a comprehensive flushing program of its water distribution network. The goal of this program is to ensure that the drinking water quality is at its optimal level and to properly maintain the City’s water distribution system.
This is a multi-year recurring program, executed in a specific order, with the water distribution system being divided into strategic zones.
For the summer of 2022, the zone targeted will be as outlined in the map below.
To display the legend, click on the button located at the bottom left corner of the map.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is “water line flushing”?
- Water line flushing improves water quality by removing sediment that slowly builds up at the bottom of the watermain over time. It is a process by which water is moved through a water pipe at a high velocity so that a scouring action is created. Water is then discharged through a hydrant, removing any material build-up from the pipe.
What is “Unidirectional Flushing”?
- Unidirectional Flushing (UDF) is a standard industry practice used to scour and clean the watermains. This technique involves a high-pressure, high-velocity water flow going in a single direction through a single pipeline. During the UDF process, a section of the watermain is isolated and water is forced through it at high speed, then discharged through a fire hydrant. The hydrant is left open until the water is cleared.
How will I know that the City of Bathurst Public Work Crews are flushing the watermains in my neighbourhood?
- The City of Bathurst will inform residents before starting the flushing program by posting notices on its website and Facebook Page.
How will I be affected?
- Flushing will generally occur between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding statutory Holidays). There may be a slight drop in pressure or noticeable discolouration of the water from the minerals and sediments that are being flushed out. Water service will not be interrupted during the flushing process.
What should I do if my water is discoloured after the City of Bathurst Public Works Crews flushed the watermains?
- Water may be discoloured after watermain cleaning, but this should not last long. In the event you draw discoloured water into your home, the City of Bathurst advises customers to open a cold water tap for up to 15 minutes every few hours to verify if the line has cleared. As a precaution, prior to using hot water, run the cold water tap for a few minutes to ensure discoloured water is not drawn into your hot water tank.
How long does it take to clean the watermain on each street?
- It takes between 30 to 60 minutes to flush a watermain section.
Why can’t the City of Bathurst clean the watermains at night?
- It is safer for crews to work on the street during daylight hours. As well, the daylight provides better visibility to see when all the sediment has been flushed out and the water is running clear.
Is Unidirectional Flushing a waste of water?
- No. In fact, it is a normal and necessary part of maintaining a safe and reliable drinking water supply. After the UDF process, the water is dechlorinated and reintroduced in the environment.
Are there other benefits to using the UDF technique?
- Yes. In addition to removing more sediment and using less water than conventional flushing, water system valves and hydrants are also exercised and maintained.
Do other cities have similar programs?
- Many cities have some type of flushing program to clean the watermains (e.g. conventional flushing or UDF). UDF is considered the best way to improve water quality and increase the reliability of the water distribution system.