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Water Main Flushing

July 4 2022

Commencing on Tuesday, July 5 until Friday, July 8, 2022, Gravelbourg Public Works personnel will perform water main flushing throughout the Town. The work will occur between 8am and 4pm each day.

The process of periodically flushing the water mains requires the strategic opening of fire hydrants to allow water to flow from the system, and is an important preventive maintenance activity. This allows employees of Gravelbourg Public Works Department to flush sedimentation from the water lines.

Flushing, although it may appear to waste water, provides Gravelbourg Public Works the means to clean and refresh the entire water distribution system. By discharging a large volume of water through a fire hydrant, water flow within the pipeline increases. This increased flow scours the inside of the pipeline, removing and then transporting silt and mineral deposits out of the water system. 

These procedures are necessary to maintain the integrity of the water system. During the flushing process, it is not uncommon for a yellow, brown, or reddish tint to appear in the water.  Harmless mineral deposits settle in the water mains and flushing the fire hydrants stirs the deposits, sometimes causing a brief discoloration of the water.

This work will also include an assessment of the Town’s hydrants so that we can plan replacement and update programs for our infrastructure.

Here is what you should keep in mind if hydrant flushing is taking place on your street:

  • If possible, avoid using water while the hydrant flushing is taking place. By not using water from the tap (cold or hot) or running appliances that use water (dishwashers and washing machines), you can prevent discolored water from entering your household plumbing system altogether.
  • Appliances such as icemakers and chilled water dispensers connected to the town’s water system should be turned off during flushing.
  • If you encounter discolored water following hydrant flushing, run the cold water taps only. Do not use hot water taps throughout your home at bathroom sinks, tubs, kitchen faucets, etc., for 5 to 15 minutes, or until water clears. This allows discolored water to work its way out of your household plumbing system. By not using your hot water taps, this should prevent discolored water from entering your hot water system. If you do experience discolored water on your hot side, flush in the same manner as the cold system.
  • Don’t do laundry while or shortly after flushing is taking place. The discolored water can sometimes stain fabrics. Wait until water runs clear at your taps before using your washing machine and wash a load of dark clothes first. 
  • If laundry appears to be stained, keep articles wet. Do Not Dry. Rewash load using a stain/rust remover (such as a product called “Rust Out”). Do Not Use Bleach on stained laundry as bleach will “set” the stain.
  • If, after flushing, your water pressure or volume seems low, clean faucet screens to remove silt and mineral sediment that could be obstructing water flow.

We will make efforts to provide daily updates on impacted zones via the Town of Gravelbourg Facebook page and on the website. For more information, or if you experience water quality problems lasting more than four hours following hydrant flushing, please contact the Public Works Manager at 306-648-3301, extension 3 between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.

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