Water Line Flushing


The City of Clemson Utilities Department conducts a comprehensive water line flushing program to maintain a “chlorine residual” throughout the water system. Flushing is a process that rapidly removes water from the City’s water piping system. Flushing uses water force to scour out materials that may accumulate in the pipes. Water pipes are normally flushed by opening fire hydrants or pipeline “blow-offs.”

Note: During drought conditions, or other events that in the opinion of the Utilities Director, require water conservation, the flushing may be temporarily modified or cease until conditions improve.

What should I do if I turned on a faucet and the water coming out is discolored?

Should you experience discolored water or your water appears to be cloudy, do not be alarmed. It is recommended you run your spigot for about five minutes or until the water is clear. Discoloration can also be caused by your hot water heater so you may need to flush your water heater by putting a hose on the heater drain, cutting the power off and then flushing water through your hot water heater until the water clears up. If the water does not clear, notify the City of Clemson Utilities Department (864) 653-2046.

Why are we flushing?

Because water mains are sized to allow adequate and safe flows for fire protection, water typically is moving through the underground pipelines at less than 2 miles per hour. This slow movement can cause corrosion, like rust and mineral particles, to build up over time and accumulate along the pipe. This corrosion can cause the chlorine residual to degrade thus raising the possibility of a bacteriological problem. This buildup can restrict water flow in the pipes and contribute to corrosion and water color problems.

Isn’t Flushing a waste of water?

No, Any overall increase in the amount of water used in flushing is a small price to pay in maintaining water quality and the integrity of our infrastructure.

How will this affect me?

Usually, you will not be aware that flushing is even taking place in your neighborhood. Flushing is generally conducted between the hours of 7 a.m. 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Select fire hydrants will be opened to flush the water pipes. It typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to flush each hydrant. While the hydrant(s) are being flushed, area businesses and residents may experience discolored water and a pressure drop. Your water service should not be interrupted. If you have no water pressure, Please notify the City of Clemson Utilities Department (864)653-2046. Additionally, you will notice wet streets or ditches in your area from the flushed mains. During the summer months some blow-offs run continuously to maintain a chlorine residua. This is because heat dissipates chlorine and our student

population leaves for the summer and reduces our flow rates.

Our Implementation Plan ensures that:

*The flushing program shall help ensure that dead end and low usage mains are flushed periodically.

*That drinking water standard are met.

*That sediment and air removal is maintained.

*That free chlorine residual is maintained.

*That records including date time, location, persons responsible and length of flushing are maintained and available.

*and that free chlorine residual will be measured and recorded on the end of dead end mains after flushing.

All records associated with the flushing program are maintained at the City of Clemson Utilities Department located at 300 Cochran Road, Clemson, S.C. 29631.

Questions regarding the City’s flushing program may be directed to the City of Clemson Utilities Department (864) 653-2046.

Water Line Flushing