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Water main flushing

Over the summer we will be testing a new way of cleaning Calgary’s water mains called unidirectional flushing (UDF).

What is unidirectional flushing (UDF)?

This process isolates sections of water pipes and then flushes high-speed water through to clean the mains:

  • We isolate pipe sections by closing valves in a sequence. We then open a hydrant at the end to create one directional water flow.
  • The high-speed water lifts and flushes sediment and mineral deposits from the pipes out onto the street through the fire hydrant.

UDF takes anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours per pipe.

Why are we doing this?

It helps preserve our high-quality drinking water and the water distribution system. We frequently flush lines as part of our regular preventative maintenance. We are always improving our operations to make our service more effective in maintaining the quality of your water.

Why have Parkland, Deer Run and Deer Ridge been chosen?

Our drinking water distribution system works in a way that makes these close-proximity communities ideal as test communities for this work. Eventually we would like to implement this method of flushing in all communities.

What will this look like?

You likely won’t see any changes to your water. Some homes might have a small drop in water pressure and/or discolouration in cold water, but this will resolve once flushing activity is completed.

Please ensure you follow the instructions for washing/disinfecting household taps - Don't forget your bathtub tap. This information was provided to all impacted residents via the doorhanger or notice delivery.

If you do experience a water disruption please contact 311.

Will this flood my street?

Large amounts of water will flow into the street and down stormwater catch basins (street drains). They are designed handle the flow and street flooding should not happen.

On some streets, inlet control devices have been installed. This means the water will drain more slowly (90-120 minutes).

Frequently asked questions:

Can I park where this work is taking place?

Because of the high volume of rushing water, there may be NO PARKING signs. Please follow signage directions for parking. This is a temporary process.

Can kids play in this water?

No. There is a safety risk due to the volume of water. Please keep children away.

Can we reuse this water?

This water can’t be used for other purposes. We have to flush pipes for regular maintenance of your drinking water system. However this method uses 40 per cent less water than conventional flushing methods. We’re also able to flush less often.

Will this be on my water bill?

No. You are only charged for the water your home uses.