An essential part of our system’s maintenance program is to flush hydrants every spring and fall in an effort to clear our water mains of sediment and mineral build-up. This practice improves water quality and helps to extend the life of our water mains.

Water main flushing begins on Wednesday, April 14th. Flushing will commence on Maynard Road at the Willis Hill Water Tanks (across from Fairbanks Road) immediately impacting the northeast quadrant of Town and systematically travel throughout Sudbury.

Routine Overnight Flushing is suspended until further notice.

Naturally occurring mineral sediment and deposits slowly build up inside of the water mains resulting in discolored water and reduced capacity. Unidirectional flushing (UDF) is a standard industry maintenance practice used to scour, clean, and improve the carrying capacity of water distribution systems.

Unidirectional only allows water to flow in one direction during the cleaning process. UDF, isolates each pipeline to create flow in a single direction and quickly clean the pipe. By concentrating the flow, UDF creates higher velocities to clear the pipes and requires less water.

Sign up to receive alerts by text, email, or phone. Check our website for route changes and updates as flushing progresses throughout Town.

The process of water main flushing is one of the most critical practices carried out by public drinking water systems. This practice allows water operators to improve water quality by removing mineral sediments, identify broken or inoperable valves and hydrants to assure that they are working at their maximum potential for fire emergencies. For these reasons MassDEP allows and encourages flushing during this restriction period in recognition of the value that it provides.

The District plans on flushing our water mains as much as possible. If we start to face high demand periods and our system’s pumps and piping cannot tolerate the additional demand from flushing, we will have no choice but to stop flushing altogether. Provided that is not the case, then we plan to continue to flush until the entire system has been addressed for the year. Our goal is to produce the highest quality water at the tap, and flushing is needed for us to meet that goal.

Over time, water settles, ages, and is affected by biofilm (a thin layer of microorganisms) that grows on the inside of the distribution piping. Each of these factors affects the quality and taste of the water, so it is important to flush the water out of the mains and hydrants regularly. Flushing can remove water from areas of the distribution system that have low water use, since the older water may no longer have the desired chlorine residual.

  • Avoid running your tap water or using a washing machine or dishwasher while flushing is conducted in your area.
  • If discolored water occurs due to area flushing, run a cold water faucet (after flushing hours) in a basement sink or bathroom tub for a few minutes until the water runs clear.
  • Don’t run a laundry machine or use hot water while we’re flushing in your area your clothes or fabrics become stained due to discolored water, re-wash our laundry using detergent together with a Rust and Iron removing agent (when water is running clear from your faucet); the District maintains a supply of  Rust and Iron remover at our administration office forfree. Contact our administration office to make arrangements to pick-up a few packets to keep on hand. (Though our administration building is presently closed to visitors due to the pandemic, call ahead 978-443-6602 and a member of our staff will greet you at our main entrance door).

Slight discoloration may sometimes linger for a few hours, it is not harmful to your health and only temporarily affects the appearance of the water it does not influence water quality.

If water pressure or volume seems low after flushing has been completed, check your faucet screens and home filters for trapped particles.

Flushing water mains may cause iron and manganese sediment to become more visible. Your water may at times appear yellow to dark brown in color (the actual minerals lifting in the water) and may also appear milky at times (air bubbles caused by the opening of the water mains). These non-health threatening minerals are known to cause staining. Be a wary consumer, to minimize the effect of these naturally occurring minerals, avoid using and/or purchasing products that contain chlorine (including automatic dishwashing detergents, laundry detergents, and any other household cleaning agents). Products free of chlorine are now available at most local grocery and department stores. Flushing also has an effect on water pressure. When in the area or your home, you may experience a reduction in the pressure coming into your home. That is because of the high pressure that is being drawn at the hydrants at the times of flushing.

When flushing mains; even if we are not directly ON your street, the connecting streets COULD experience some, all, or none of the same effects as that of the actual street being flushed.