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Germantown residents north of Poplar can resume water use after flushing

By , Daily Memphian Updated: July 27, 2023 2:19 PM CT | Published: July 27, 2023 12:19 PM CT

All residents north of Poplar Avenue in Germantown can continue normal water usage after flushing lines.

The city announced the news shortly before noon Thursday.

Northwest Germantown residents may begin flushing lines

Residents north of Poplar, east of Kimbrough Road and west of Forest Hill-Irene can begin flushing their lines.

For some residents, this ends a week of using tap water to only flush toilets after a diesel leak at the Southern Avenue water treatment plant contaminated 4.2 million gallons of water.

On Thursday morning, residents west of Kimbrough and north of Poplar were able to begin flushing their lines before returning to normal usage. Areas east of Forest Hill-Irene Road were able to flush and resume normal usage Sunday.

Flushing method for homes

Flushing helps remove water that was standing in interior pipes.

Those who do not detect a diesel odor when they turn faucets on should let water run for five minutes.

Those who smell the fuel from flushing or previously caught the scent should follow a more extensive process:

  • Open a few cold water taps and let them run for 15 minutes to clear the residential water line from the main.
  • Open cold taps one at a time and run for five minutes to clean each line. The city said to begin nearest to where water enters the home and then move to farthest tap. Repeat for all cold taps.
  • Then do the previous two steps, but with hot water. A residential water heater can be flushed by filling a bathtub twice.
  • Any dishes or clothing washed during the restriction are recommended to be rewashed, the city said.
  • Devices using water, such as ice-makers, may require additional cleaning.


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Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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