Watermain Flushing and Swabbing

Watermain flushing and swabbing is performed by the City of Vaughan’s Environmental Services, Water Services.

To ensure the City of Vaughan continues to provide clean and safe drinking water to residents and businesses, regular maintenance is required. Our water operators routinely perform preventive maintenance on our service lines. This maintenance is called “flushing and swabbing.” Over time, mineral and sediment buildup can discolour water and slow down its flow. Flushing and swabbing the watermains removes natural build-up of scale and sediments from water and assists in improving pressure, flow and potential water quality issues. This work ensures our continued commitment to superior service delivery and also keeps our infrastructure strong to extend its lifespan.


Prior to any watermain flushing or swabbing, the City will make every effort to notify affected residents and businesses in the area. It is important that you do not use water during this time as it may impact our work and could result in you receiving discoloured water as well the potential of damaging your water meter with debris. Please see the below dos and don’ts to answer any questions you might have.


For any additional information or queries please contact Access Vaughan by phone 905-832-2281 or by email at service@vaughan.ca.


Dos and don%27ts pic


Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to commonly asked watermain flushing and swabbing questions below.


Before watermain swabbing occurs on your street, it’s recommended to store water in a container in the fridge to use for cooking and drinking. You can also fill your bath tub with water for washing your hands or flushing toilets. Also, be sure to complete dishwashing, laundry and other activities that require water prior to the watermain swabbing activity.


No. Water is not shut off during this time, but we ask that you make every effort not to use the water.


Yes. You can use your toilet by pouring a pail of stored water into your toilet bowl to allow your toilet to manually flush.


Yes. You can use the drain during this time.


If you accidentally turn on your tap during this time, you may experience discoloured water and run the risk of damaging your water meter with debris. Make every effort to avoid turning on the taps during this time. It’s recommended to turn off your water at the water meter inside your home to avoid accidental water use.

Door Notice

Have you received a door notice? To ensure the safety and well-being of citizens, the City must complete routine scheduled maintenance. The Environmental Services department often uses public notices delivered directly to the door to inform residents about various work throughout the year.



The most common types used by this department are:

  • curb box repair and after-care instructions
  • flushing and swabbing lines as part of scheduled maintenance
  • water shut off notices


For more information, contact Service Vaughan at 905-832-2281