BRYN MAWR, PA — Aqua Pennsylvania is reaching out to commercial customers whose businesses might have been closed for prolonged periods due to COVID-19 to ask that they thoroughly flush their internal plumbing before reopening their businesses or restarting their operations.
“Water that has been left sitting in unused pipes, equipment like ice machines and building systems while those buildings are closed over extended periods of time can become stagnant and produce undesirable tastes or odors when the building is re-opened and water use is returned to normal,” said Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca.
“Extended periods of inactivity can degrade water quality that in some cases may cause metals, such as lead, to leach as well as bacteria growth like legionella growth. It is important that customers take proper steps to alleviate these potential issues,” Lucca continued.
Lucca added that building plumbing, including water heaters, be thoroughly flushed before reopening for normal use by flushing all cold water lines first followed by flushing hot water lines.
Thorough flushing includes operating all sink, tub, shower and toilet fixtures. Safety equipment, such as eye washes, safety showers and fire sprinkler systems might also require assessment and necessary maintenance.
Standard plumbing equipment should be flushed as follows:
- Toilets should be flushed several times to ensure fresh water moves through piping
- Faucets and showers should be allowed to run for approximately 10 minutes in total, with cold taps running first followed by hot taps
“We recommend flushing other appliances thoroughly to bring fresh water into the system,” said Lucca. “We also advise customers to run water until they can detect the smell of chlorine in the water. Customers should follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacing water filters on appliances like refrigerators and ice makers.
Aqua customers can refer to the company’s April 30 alert at AquaAmerica.com for further information. Detailed instructions on reactivating plumbing systems after dormant conditions can also be found at the Centers for Disease Control website.
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