Water Distribution System Flushing: Improving Water Quality

Mar 19, 2019 | Member News

Water Distribution System Flushing

Fort Collins Utilities will begin flushing the water distribution system in early April from 7 a.m. –5 p.m., Monday–Friday, for approximately eight weeks (weather permitting). When flushing Downtown, crews will begin at approximately 5 a.m. in order to be out of the area as quickly as possible.

Flushing Area

Crews will start on Mason Street and move eastward to Northern Lights Drive (just past Ziegler Road), with Willox Lane as the northern boundary and Rock Creek Drive (south of Harmony Road) as the approximate southern boundary. A map of current flushing locations will be available at fcgov.com/hydrant-flushing.


Flushing helps maintain water quality and keeps our water fresh. It’s a proactive and essential component of our preventive maintenance program and allows crews to assess the condition of the distribution system and fire hydrants during the process.

How it Works

When flushing, fire hydrants are opened, increasing the velocity of water moving through the pipes. Flushing removes sediments that may affect the water’s taste and color. While a loss of water pressure is common, the process doesn’t typically interrupt water service.

Cloudy Water

Flushing may cause your water to become cloudy or discolored for a short time. This water is not harmful, though it may stain laundry. It’s also safe to use on plants and landscape.

If you experience cloudy or discolored water:

  • wait until the nearby flushing is complete
  • remove faucet aerators or filters
  • run the COLD water for 10-15 minutes

If you notice improvements, continue running the cold water for an additional 10-15 minutes or until it is clear. If it is not improving, turn off the water, wait 30 minutes and repeat. If it still doesn’t clear, you can call 970-221-6700 to report your concerns.

Sometimes it speeds up the process if you run the COLD water in your bathtub, which also provides a light background to help you monitor the discoloration. Another option is to run the garden hose, weather permitting, until the water clears.

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