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Water distribution flushing

City of Santa Barbara

Water distribution flushing


S.B. City to Resume Hydrant Flushing

Partners with Contractor to Recycle, Refresh Water


From June through October, the City of Santa Barbara will accommodate drought conditions by working with water utility service contractor Valvetek Utility Services, Inc. to implement a citywide flushing system that recycles water in order to significantly reduce water loss.

Anyone who has seen a fire hydrant gushing water out onto the street has probably witnessed hydrant flushing. The routine system is put in place by water departments to flush out city pipes that, over time, can accumulate sediment and deposit buildups that considerably degrade water quality.

Since the drought, city administrators halted previously annual flushing programs in order to conserve what little water is left. The only problem is water quality can quickly deteriorate without routine flushes. Minerals and sediments, which form in pipes over the years, are known to alter the taste, odor, and color of water.

After receiving several calls regarding cloudy water in homes, the city was forced — for the first time in two years — to perform a series of routine flushes in affected neighborhoods. With water conservation and quality two chief priorities, the city teamed up with Valvetek to continue a routine flushing system that recycles and conserves water. Instead of water flowing from fire hydrants onto the street, it will be carried through tubes into Valvetek trucks, where it will enter a filtration system and be reused as recycled water.

During this five-month process, the City of Santa Barbara and Valvetek will work in different neighborhoods to provide clean water to homes and businesses. Parking restrictions, which may be in affect during work hours, will be posted at least 72 hours in advance.

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