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What is pipe flushing

TasWater’s aim is to provide safe drinking water which consistently meets the requirements of the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and the aesthetic requirements of our customers. To ensure this is possible we need to carry out a variety of maintenance on our infrastructure. This includes periodically flushing some of our water mains, especially if we believe that natural sediments may have built up inside them.

What is Flushing?

Flushing is when water is released from a fire hydrant or access point at a high flow rate and is used to clean our water mains. Water is released and tested until it either returns to a clear appearance or the turbidity levels are within the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Why do you do it?

The water entering our main after treatment is of a very high quality but over time sediments can naturally build up in the pipe lines, particularly if the water is slow moving. If left alone this can result in our customers receiving discoloured water. Too much sediment can also affect the taste, clarity and odour of water.

When do you do it?

Flushing can occur whenever it is needed but is most common after large water outages as the change to the flow rate within the pipe can stir up sediment. It can also occur as part of a flushing program. Flushing programs are planned around customer feedback, water sampling and historical data to ensure we reach areas that need it the most.

How much water is used?

Water is a limited resource that must be carefully managed to ensure we have enough for our growing population and environmental needs. Flushing is critical to maintaining high-quality drinking water and we ensure that sediment is removed using the least amount of water as possible. On average most sediment can be removed from the main after 5-15 minutes of flushing.

How will I be impacted?

Your tap water will remain safe to drink but during flushing in your area to may notice a slight decrease in pressure. After flushing, your water may appear discoloured or cloudy due to trapped air in the pipe. If this occurs, please run an outside tap for 5-10 minutes until the water is clear. If running a tap does not resolve the issue, please contact us on 13 6992.