City to commence annual water main flushing program


The City of Nanaimo's Engineering and Public Works Department will be commencing its annual water main flushing program soon. In March, City crews flushed water supply mains from the South Fork dam to the water treatment plant. Starting Sunday, April 9 through May, crews will flush water distribution mains located throughout the City.

While this program is underway, short periods of low pressure and discoloured water may be expected. Any discolouration is temporary and not a health hazard.

For more information about the water main flushing program and a neighbourhood flushing schedule, visit the City website.

Strategic Link: Taking responsibility to be an excellent municipal government.

Key Points

  • The flushing program works from the south end of the City to the north. On each street, clean drinking water is flushed at a high velocity through water mains to ensure that all piping is refreshed and any minor sediment within the pipes is removed.
  • The flushing program will be significantly scaled back this year, due to filtered water entering the system from the new water treatment plant. With no sediment entering the system, the program will move along quickly, reducing inconvenience to residents and businesses, and costs for staff time and equipment.
  • Residents are asked to minimize their water consumption if a change in water appearance is noticed. To clear water lines, residents are advised to turn on a cold water tap until the water runs clear. The condition is temporary and is not detrimental to health.
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system should reference information on Island Health’s website.


"Following over a year of successful operation of the water treatment plant, we expect to find very little build up in our water distribution system. This year, we will modify the water main flushing program to focus on dead end mains to ensure they are well scoured and fresh. We will monitor water quality and the program as it moves through the City, and update the website each week.

We anticipate significant cost savings for the reduced flushing program, directly attributable to the operation of the water treatment plant."

Senior Manager of Public Works
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • In previous years, the City of Nanaimo’s Water Main Flushing Program washed out over 90km of water supply mains and over 536km of distribution water mains. This year, we will scale the Program back significantly due to much higher treated water quality coming into the system.
  • Residents are encouraged to visit the City's website to access more information concerning when City crews will flush pipes in specific neighbourhoods.


Water Main Flushing
Water Main Flushing
Bill Sims and Brad Currie of the City of Nanaimo talk to us about water main flushing.


John Elliot
Manager of Utilities
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

Help us improve our website

Don't include private or financial information in this form.