A resident alerted us that they were seeing discoloured (brown) water coming out of their taps on the morning of March 28 and at the same time, a City of Toronto worker had opened a fire hydrant across the street. After some investigation, it turns out that the City has a “Watermain Flushing program” where every few years depending on testing results, watermains are cleaned by way of sending water at high speed through the pipes to produce a scouring action that removes built-up sediment. After flushing, the water exits through an attachment to a fire hydrant.
During watermain flushing, residents should not open taps, flush toilets or use water-based appliances during this time to avoid drawing in discoloured water during this procedure. It isn’t clear if this particular incident was actually related to watermain flushing since the City Dept. responsible has advised us that they don’t have a record of this work being conducted on that day. Normally, residents would be notified two days in advance via visits and door-hanger notices. They are going to investigate further and get back to us.
Learn more about the water main flushing program (toronto.ca)