System Flushing

Flushing Program

Padre Dam has a flushing program that helps to maintain high-quality water throughout the distribution system. Flushing operations are required on a regular basis by the State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water. During a flushing operation in your neighborhood, you may see crews flushing fire hydrants, end of water main blow off pipes and reservoirs.

In order to properly conduct flushing operations, the water flowing in the pipes must reach maximum velocities. These higher than normal velocities will scour the insides of the distribution piping, helping to clean out any bio-films or silt that may be present. In most cases, it is not possible to capture and reuse the water being flushed due to the high velocity and volume of water being released.

Red fire hydrant with water pouring out

Flushing at Your Home

When we flush our system in front of your home, we suggest you not use the water in your home as the water quality may be temporarily reduced. After we leave the area, if you have not used the water during the time we are flushing, your water quality should be unaffected and you may return to normal use.

Why Flushing is Important

  • Bacteria Control - Biofilm growth in drinking water systems can occur when an area becomes stagnant, but can be eliminated through flushing.
  • Taste & Odor Control - Flushing removes many of the deposits, sediment, and other materials that can affect taste and odor.
  • Corrosion Control - Flushing introduces higher than normal water velocities that scour the inside of water lines.
  • Fire Hydrant & Valve Exercising - Operating fire hydrants and valves helps to ensure that they will work properly in an emergency.