City begins annual flushing of water system to ensure quality

January 23, 2017

The City begins its annual water quality and system maintenance flushing program January 25 in Gresham's southeast region, or Lusted Service Area. City crews flush water pipes through hydrants to remove built-up sediments that settle in waterlines over time. In addition to cleaning water pipes, the flushing program allows City crews to identify any malfunctioning valves or problems with fire hydrants. 

Flushing will take place from January through April in various residential areas. Crews will flush between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm weekdays. Residents will be alerted via signs in their neighborhood and may also visit the City's website daily for the flushing schedule:

"This is a proactive way of keeping our water clean, our crews trained, and our system operating as it should," said Andrew Degner, City of Gresham Water Resources Regulatory and Operations Manager.

Residents who see water gushing from fire hydrants down the street into storm drains can be assured City crews are deliberately flushing or cleaning out the public water system. Last year crews flushed more than 88 miles of waterline. 

Flushing activities may stir up sediment in the water system, causing temporarily discolored water. The City recommends that customers keep discolored water out of their private systems by not turning on the water or operating appliances that use water (such as dishwashers and washing machines) while crews are flushing lines in the area. 

If customers notice discolored water in their private systems during neighborhood flushing, staff recommends following these steps before running any appliances that require water:

  1. Turn on each cold-water faucet and allow the water to run until it's clear again.
  2. Flush each toilet two to three times.
  3. Still experiencing an issue? Call the Operations Center at 503-618-2626.

The flushing program takes place during the rain-heavy winter and spring months to support water conservation efforts. The goal of the Water System Flushing Program is to complete one-third of the public water system each year. The Water Division maintains more than 250 miles of waterlines.