As part of our spring maintenance schedule, Chandler Utilities will flush water lines beginning May 1. This procedure will run approximately three weeks. You may experience low water pressure and discolored water during this time. Discolored water is safe to drink, but can cause discoloration to laundry. Below are some helpful tips to prevent issues during this maintenance period and some information as to why we flush our mains.
Flushing the water system by opening up fire hydrants allows us to remove mineral build-up and sediment from our water mains, as well as to ensure water quality throughout the system. Routine flushing is recommended by Federal and State agencies that regulate drinking water quality. Chandler typically flushes our system in April and October.
What to expect and how to help prevent issues
Most customers will only be effected for one day during the three-week flushing period. On the day that flushing occurs in your area, we recommend you minimize water usage to avoid any issues. If you must use your water during the flushing period (typically 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.), you may encounter:
- Low water pressure – This will be temporary (typically no more than a couple of hours), but could be intermittent throughout the day. As the hydrants being flushed pull a higher volume of water than normal from the mains, the pressure drops for customers in the immediate area.
- Rust-colored water – The discoloration is simply a build-up of naturally-occurring iron in the water that has settled in the mains between flushing periods; it is the same build-up that we are attempting to flush out of the system. The water is completely safe and still meets federal and state drinking water standards. Although safe, the discoloration can stain laundry, so it is best to clear out any discolored water from your plumbing lines before additional water use. To clear out your lines, we recommend you run COLD water through your bathtub until it runs clear; this can take up to 20 minutes. If you use hot water while there is discoloration, the discolored water may linger if it gets inside the water heater tank. The same is true if you use a water softening system; bypass your softener to avoid pulling the discolored water into your water softener tank.
- A hammering noise in your pipes and or milky-looking water – In some instances, air can get into your lines when you turn on a faucet during water main flushing. If this happens, you may experience a hammering noise and/or sputtering, or water that appears cloudy or milky and clears up as it sets. To flush air out of your lines, turn on your cold water in all of your faucets until the water flows freely and/or runs clear; it may take several flushes to clear the line to your toilet.
If you have experienced a drop in pressure for an extended period of time or are having complications after following the above steps to clear your lines of discolored water or air, please call our Maintenance Facility at 812-925-6213 to ensure there isn’t another issue causing the problem.