Rancho Water is implementing a new water main flushing pilot program. Flushing the distribution system prolongs the life of the pipelines and improves water quality by removing sediment that slowly builds up at the bottom of the water mains over time.
The process of flushing involves forcing water at high velocity through a pipeline which exits the system through a fire hydrant. Flushed water is forced through the pipeline until water exiting the fire hydrant runs clear. Traditionally, the water exiting the fire hydrant runs down the street and out to sewer or storm drain systems.
Rancho Water, with financial assistance from a grant provided by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, will introduce a flushing program utilizing the NO-DES (Neutral Output Discharge Elimination System) flushing and filtration system. NO-DES has introduced technology for flushing system pipelines and keeping the water contained within the system, resulting in zero loss of water. The system works by connecting the truck or trailer-mounted filter system from hydrant to hydrant. The operator can then close valves as necessary to allow for unidirectional flushing of the main pipeline. The water is filtered through bag filters and re-chlorinated before being pumped back into the system through another hydrant. The District is excited to implement the NO-DES flushing system to address necessary maintenance in a more efficient way, by placing water that would otherwise been wasted back to use for its customers. This is just another way the District is focusing on enhancing water use efficiency for both its customers and its own practices.