Water Main Flushing Starts Next Week In Boise

Apr 10, 2013

Credit hatrick / Flickr

United Water Idaho plans to flush its pipes, starting next week.  Workers will flush water through more than 1,200 miles of water mains in and around Boise. 

Spokesman Mark Snider says it happens every year. “The purpose is to scour out the water mains, remove any iron or manganese that may have deposited in the mains over the winter months,” says Snider.  “It’s just a way to clear out the system and ensure that during our peak demand in the Spring and Summer, there’s no build-up in the pipes.”

Snider says in most cases, residents won’t notice a change in their water.  “However in some cases, depending on how much iron and manganese may be in the pipes in their area, they may see discolored water in morning when they wake up.  The best thing to do there is to just run your cold water tap for a few minutes and your water should clear.”

Residents whose water doesn’t clear up are asked to contact United Water Idaho.   

Snider says the brown water isn’t dangerous.  “The minerals we’re flushing out, iron and manganese, are not harmful, they’re naturally occurring, but they do affect the water clarity.  It’s an esthetics issue, that’s what makes your water brown.  But there is no health risk to anybody by the flushing program.”

Most of the flushing happens overnight.  Snider says it takes about a month to complete. The company has a new interactive map, which shows when pipes will be cleaned. 

Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio