Water Main Flushing Pilot Program

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.

water main flushing truckRancho 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 a 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 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Will my water service be affected during the flushing process?

A: Flushing will generally occur between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. for most neighborhoods. We do not expect the flushing process to cause any impacts to your water service. The water will remain safe to drink, however, you may experience some temporary discoloration or sediment in your water.

Q: What should I do if my water is discolored after Rancho Water has flushed the water mains?

A: If you notice any water quality issues, try running the water at an outside hose bib for several minutes to flush the line between your meter and house. Inside your home or business, flush the cold water lines for a few minutes, up to 15 minutes maximum.   As a precaution, do this prior to using hot water to ensure discolored water is not drawn into the hot water tank. If you continue to experience discoloration or sediment after flushing has been completed in your A: If you notice any water quality issues, try running the water at an outside hose bib for several minutes to flush the line between your meter and house. Inside your home or business, flush the cold water lines for a few minutes, up to 15 minutes maximum.  As a precaution, do this prior to using hot water to ensure discolored water is not drawn into the hot water tank. If you continue to experience discoloration or sediment after flushing has been completed in your neighborhood, please call our Water Quality Department at (951) 296-6953 or if after 4:30 p.m. at (951) 296-6900.

Q: How will I know when Rancho Water is cleaning the water mains in my neighborhood?

A: Rancho Water will send a letter to customers before starting the flushing program in their neighborhood.  The location of flushing will also be posted on our website.

Q: Why can’t Rancho Water clean the water mains at night?

A: It’s safer for staff to work on the streets in daylight. Also, daylight provides better visibility to see when all the sediment has been flushed out and the water is running clear.

Q: Are there other benefits of this program?

A: This an eco-friendly, zero water waste approach to water main flushing.  The District also received financial assistance from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to implement the program.