April 25, 2022 (Moscow, Idaho) —  The City is required to conduct flushing of the water system annually. This process helps ensure the safety of Moscow’s drinking water. Moscow’s water is drawn from an aquifer system. This aquifer system is naturally high in iron, which, while safe, can cause discoloration as iron flock accumulates in the distribution system. The Water Department performs annual flushing to minimize iron flocculation buildup in the distribution system. The system is flushed using fire hydrants and specifically designed flushing equipment.

Flushing will be performed between 10 pm to 6 am based on the following schedule:

  • May 2 – Main St. west to the city limits between D St. and Taylor Ave.
  • May 3 – D St. north to the city limits between Almon St. and Polk St. and Taylor Ave. south to Palouse River Dr. to include the Frontier addition
  • May 4 – 6 St. north to the city limits between Polk St. and Mountain View Rd. to include the Fort Russell area
  • May 5 – 6th Street south to the Troy Highway and east to Mountain View Road to include the Indian Hills Addition
  • May 6 – everything east of Mountain View Rd. from the north to the south city limits

During flushing, there will be water in the roadway. Drivers are cautioned to take care when driving through these areas.

Periodic flushing of the water distribution system is a vital part of any public water system’s operation and maintenance and is a state regulatory requirement. The City’s well water is high in iron and manganese, which reacts with chlorine creating floc, reddish-colored fluffy particles. Floc will settle in the piping system during normal flow conditions and be re-suspended during high flow periods, regardless of the well’s filtering system. Floc is not harmful to human health, but can cause aesthetic issues with water as re-suspended floc or sediment results in a red or brown hue to the water. Thorough flushing of the distribution system removes most of this floc sediment from the piping systems, improving overall water quality. However, some floc or sediment may remain in the pipes, and some residents may see water discoloration even after City-wide flushing.

Residents should complete the following steps after City flushing activities are completed:

  • Residents with water softeners or whole house filters should perform a regular maintenance check after City flushing is complete.
  • All residents are recommended to run cold water for 10 – 15 minutes to clear local lines.
  • Following the cold-water process, it is recommended to run hot water for several minutes to ensure further the lines are clear, especially before using washing machines.

Residents who experience water discoloration and do not see an improvement after completing the above steps should call the Moscow Water Department at 208-882-3122, as the system may require more localized flushing.

The City of Moscow appreciates and thanks citizens for their patience as this necessary maintenance process is completed. For questions, to report problems, or if water discoloration persists for an extended period, customers may call the Moscow Water Department between 7 am to 3:30 pm Mon. through Fri. at 208-882-3122.