Guidance for Reopening Commercial Building Water Systems
Our highest priority is safeguarding public health amid concerns about the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which has impacted businesses and organizations all over the Rogue Valley. Many of these have shuttered their facilities for an extended period of time.
During periods of long stagnation (such as a commercial building or home being unoccupied for several days), water can pick up off-tastes, odors, or colors from sitting in the pipes inside the building, and residual disinfectant levels can drop, causing conditions that increase the risk for bacteria growth.
To ensure the safety of your building water system and devices after a prolonged shutdown, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued 8 recommended steps to take before your business or building reopens:
1. Develop a comprehensive water management program for your water system and all devices that use water (guidance is available from CDC).
2. Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and the temperature is correctly set.
3. Flush your water system.
4. Clean all decorative water features, such as fountains.
5. Ensure hot tubs/spas are safe for use.
6. Ensure cooling towers are clean and well-maintained.
7. Ensure safety equipment including fire sprinkler systems, eye wash stations, and safety showers are clean and well-maintained.
8. Maintain your water system.
Of these steps, the simplest and most important step to take is to flush your water system before use by opening all hot and cold water taps for long enough to clear the lines and replace the water in all plumbing and tanks (generally about 5 to 10 minutes for a typical-sized small business).
Please go to the CDC's website for details and further guidance on each of these recommended steps. We have answers to many questions related to COVID-19 and water quality here. If you have questions regarding water quality, water service, or this notice, please contact Customer Service at (541) 774-2430.