Ensure the Safety of Your Building Water System After A Prolonged Shutdown

Updated: April 16, 2020

If your business has been shutdown due to COVID-19 you probably have stagnant water in your building’s water system that could cause a problem when you reopen. Stagnant water can cause low levels of disinfectant leading to the growth and spread of Legionella and other bacteria. Depending on the type of interior plumbing, there is also the risk of increased levels of lead and copper. The CDC has provided guidance on steps to take before your business reopens to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.

A summary is below – you can find the full guidance on the CDC’s website.

  • Develop a comprehensive water management program for your water system and all devices that use water
  • Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and the temperature is correctly set.  This may include draining the unit
  • Flush your water system through all points of use (e.g. showers, sink faucets)
  • Clean decorative water features such as fountains
  • Ensure hot tubs/spas are safe for use
  • Ensure cooling towers are clean and well-maintained
  • Ensure safety equipment including fire sprinkler systems, eye wash station, and safety showers are clean and well-maintained
  • Maintain your water system





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