Water System Flushing Program
Western routinely cleans its water system to help maintain high-quality water throughout our service area. In the water industry, this process is known as flushing.
Western's water system flushing program removes sediment and mineral build-up throughout the distribution system and verifies the proper operation of the valves and hydrants. To learn more about Western's flushing program and why it's necessary to continue these practices during a drought, read our frequently asked questions below.
Over time, natural sediments can accumulate in the large water pipes (also called mains) located beneath the streets. While these sediments are completely safe, they may affect water taste, color, and odor. Water main flushing is the process of cleaning the interior of the large water pipes and removing any accumulated sediment by sending a rapid flow of water through them. This rapid flow disrupts any sediment that may get in the mains over time, allowing us to filter and remove it. The water is discharged through select fire hydrants onto local roads or other surface areas.
Western is committed to providing customers with safe, reliable water. We take pride in consistently delivering water that meets and exceeds federal and state water quality standards. Western performs water main flushing to ensure our water maintains its high quality in the long term.
We do not expect this to occur during the flushing process. In the event customers draw discolored water into the home, flush a cold tap only a few minutes, up to 15 minutes maximum. If you continue to experience any quality issues or concerns, contact Western’s Customer Service Team at 951.571.7104.
Yes, Western continues to flush during a drought but will only do so when necessary. Although the program is scaled back during drought, this process is critical to the overall maintenance of a distribution system. It helps maintain high water quality, improve the capacity of pipes, and ensure proper operation of distribution system components, such as hydrants and valves. Flushing the main water lines also ensures that fire hydrants are operational.
In most cases, capturing and reusing the water being flushed is not feasible due to the high velocities and volume of water being released. Some storm drains will direct water to dedicated water basins and greenways for beneficial reuse. If you are running water to clear out your pipes after flushing, you can capture that water and use it to water plants.
Flushing is a normal part of a newly constructed well or for maintenance and rehabilitation. Water wells require regular maintenance to ensure adequate water flow and drinking water safety. Western flushes the water out to test each well's proper speed, or flow rate, and water quality.
You may notice intermittent flushing activities at the New Clay Well, located on New Clay St. in Murrieta. Water is discharged into Murrieta Creek, which has an excellent percolation rate during the flushing process. Flushing the well is necessary to develop local groundwater resources. When the water goes into Murrieta Creek, it seeps deep below into the basin, thus recharging our groundwater supply.