In May, the City of Nanaimo’s Engineering and Public Works Department completed the annual water main flushing program. This year,  Nanaimo’s new water treatment facility allowed the program to come in under budget, making for both financial and water use efficiency.

Water main flushing is performed each year to keep the water distribution mains clear of sediment buildup. This year, cul-de-sacs and dead-end mains were the focus of flushing efforts. The Engineering and Public Works Department found that the pipes were substantially cleaner than during previous annual flushes.

“Following the first full year of operation of Nanaimo’s new water treatment plant, we’re very pleased with its positive impact on our annual flushing program,” said Bill Sims, manager of water resources for the City of Nanaimo. “There are less deposited organics built up in our water mains, resulting in a significant reduction in the need for prolonged flushing. Another benefit of having highly filtered water is saving 50%, or $65,000 in the flushing program budget.”

With a cleaner distribution system, the flushing was able to be completed in half of the time of previous years and at half of the budget.

The yearly budget for water main flushing is $130,000. This year, thanks to the new water treatment plant, the cost of flushing was reduced to $65,000. The flushing program was significantly scaled back in 2017, because the filtered water entering the system from the new water treatment plant is clean and pure before it enters the system and does not leave residue.


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