Watermain flushing to begin April 3

Household water safe, but may be discolored during flushing

March 28, 2023 - by Amy Cloud, Communications and Outreach

The City’s annual water main flushing begins Monday, April 3, and will continue through June.  When flushing is underway, residents may experience discolored water.  While this water is not unsafe to use, it could stain white laundry.

If water is discolored, running a cold water tap in the bathtub for a few minutes should clear the lines.  Water customers should not wash white clothes or use their hot water taps when flushing is underway, as mineral deposits, mostly iron, may stain white laundry.

Flushing will begin in the northwest corner of Bellingham and proceed southeast. Flushing is done between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.  Wet streets are often an indicator that flushing is underway.  During a pipe flushing, businesses and residents may experience temporarily reduced water pressure; however, overall water service should not be interrupted.  Unfortunately, at this time it is not possible to provide a calendar for when flushing will occur in various neighborhoods.

Water main flushing cleans the pipes of mineral deposits that build up naturally inside pipe walls. If the pipes are not periodically flushed, this build-up can reduce the capacity and the efficiency of the City’s water distribution system. The water used during the flushing operation is de-chlorinated (pictured) before it is discharged into the city storm drainage system.

For questions regarding the water main flushing, please contact the City of Bellingham Public Works Department at (360) 778-7700 or email AskPW@cob.org.

Media Contact

Amy Cloud, PIO
City of Bellingham – Public Works
AskPW@cob.org or accloud@cob.org

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