Water Heater Maintenance
Water heater manufacturers recommend flushing sediment from your water heater periodically. How often your water heater needs to be flushed depends upon various factors including the amount of sediment and mineral content in your water.
What is Sediment and why is it a problem? Sediment is sand or other grit from a well or creek that has entered the District's water system. As Mill (Kelowna) Creek is the primary source of water for approximately 175 rural homes in the Ellison area, sediment is continually washing into the District's distribution system from the creek bed. The sediment level also increases each year during spring run-off (freshet) when the creek level rises with the fast flowing winter melt. It can also come into your water lines after the District has completed flushing its watermains.
Due to the activation of the new Joe Bulach pumpstation on Okanagan Lake, residents in the Glenmore valley, Sexsmith area, Quail Ridge, Wilden, UBCO, the Airport and the Airport Business Park are now receiving Okanagan Lake water. The Strata Complexes in Ellison are receiving well water. There is minimal sediment in these sources - which supply 95% of the District - however these customers may experience some residual sediment in their water due to previously being supplied with Mill Creek water.
In general, residents on the former McKinley Landing Waterworks System do not see much sediment in their water as their water source is from Okanagan Lake.
Over time, this sediment can accumulate in your water heater, reducing the amount of water your heater holds and reducing its efficiency. The build-up of sediment at the bottom can also harden and possibly clog the drain valve.
Cleaning the water heater should be undertaken carefully, or by a plumber. Please remember, the heater is full of HOT water - scalds or burns are possible. Children and pets should be kept away when cleaning the tank.
Please follow the manufacturer's recommended guidelines for draining your tank.