Daily Flushing

The easiest way to promote water quality at home is to flush your water system every day. There are several things you can easily do to make flushing your water system a part of your daily routine. Everyday chores such as washing the dishes, laundry or taking a shower or watering the lawn all count towards keeping your water moving.  It’s particularly important to flush your system for 5 minutes after it has been stagnant for six hours or more to maintain water quality.

Flushing pulls the corrosion control that the Department of Water Management (DWM) adds to the water through the pipes, coating them and helping to prevent any contaminants- including lead- from getting into the water. If you are concerned about the potential of elevated lead levels in your home's water, you can have your water tested for free!  If you are interested in having your home water tested please click here.

You can request a DWM representative to come to your home to take water samples or request a test kit and collect the samples yourself. The test kit consists of three bottles, a mailing box, and instructions. Follow the instructions included in your kit for collecting water samples in your home, put the bottles in the shipping box and place it in a location (such as the entryway or front door) for pick up by DWM staff. 

Remember flushing your water system is the best way to promote water quality at home. If your service line has been connected to a new water main it is important to flush your plumbing of any sediment, rust or metals, including any lead to maintain water quality.

Sediment, rust and metals, including any lead may also collect in the aerator screen located at the tip of your faucets.  These screens should be removed and cleaned regularly and prior to flushing.

Intensive Flushing

Homeowners should follow the intensive flushing protocol after water system work. 

Additional Information on Water Quality

Check out the information below to learn more about Chicago's water quality.

Supporting Information Facts

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