Water System Flushing or Hydrant Flushing is an important water system maintenance activity. The Easton Water Division uses the Unidirectional Flushing method for system flushing. Unidirectional Flushing (UDF) is a method of cleaning the water mains through a network of flushing sequences with the water being discharged from a fire hydrant. A UDF program involves closing valves in a specific sequence to create water movement in one direction while opening specific hydrants at the end of that sequence. Maintaining the flushing sequence is important so that the water used in the flushing sequence remains clean. The UDF technique allows higher water flow velocities by isolating certain sections of water mains. This higher water velocity allows for better scouring of pipes and will use 40% less water in the flushing process than traditional flushing. The flushing of the pipes will dislodge and remove mineral deposits, sediments and biological deposits that accumulate in the water mains over time.
Here are some helpful tips during the hydrant flushing program and what to do if your water becomes discolored:
TRY TO AVOID USING WATER DURING THE FLUSHING PROCESS. When a resident uses their water while the hydrant on their street is being flushed they bring the discolored water into their home. The discoloration is just sediment and while it is safe to drink, it often is not appealing.
If you do experience discolored water, The best way to purge your home of the discolored water is to run cold water until the water runs clear. We suggest using the bathtub faucet because it flows more water. The water should run clear within 15-20 minutes but may last until more people in your neighborhood run their water to help move the discolored water out of the system.
AVOID THE USE of appliances that use water such as dishwashers and washing machines during the flushing process. Also, we recommend that you turn off any ice makers and do not use the water dispenser feature on your refrigerator as it can clog the filters.
PLEASE DO NOT RUN HOT or WARM WATER, as this forces the discolored water into the hot water heater, mixing it with clear stored water. If you do get rusty water in your hot water heater, drain the hot water heater per the manufacturer's instructions.
If you have aerators on your faucets you might want to rinse them out in case the screen caught any debris during the flushing process.
If your laundry becomes discolored from the use of rusty water, products like “Red B Gone” can help remove temporary laundry discoloration.
For MASS DEP - Water Main Flushing FAQ for Consumers, please click here
For questions and concerns, please call the Water Division at 508-230-0850.