Reoccupying a building after an extended closure: Guidelines for protecting water quality.
When buildings are unoccupied for extended periods of time and water is not being regularly used, the water can sit and become stagnant causing water quality to degrade over time. Crestview is sharing guidelines for businesses on how to clear or flush the water in a building’s internal water system before the building is reoccupied. Crestview also recommends working with your building’s engineer or facility manager for this process.
1. Turn on the COLD water inside the building (break room sinks, drinking fountains, utility closets, restrooms etc.) on each floor. a. Start from the furthest point away from where the water enters the building. For a building with multiple floors, start on the top floor and work you way down to the first floor. Remember to run only the cold water. b. The cold water has been successfully flushed when you feel the water temperature go from room temperature to cold.
2. Flush hot water storage tanks (boiler and/or hot water tanks per manufacturer’s flushing instructions) to displace stagnant/discolored water with fresh water.
3. Repeat step 1 using HOT water. a. The hot water has been successfully flushed when you feel the water temperature change from cool to hot.
4. Flush and perform preventive maintenance on point -of-use devices or systems such as cooling towers, systems providing additional water treatment, etc. per the manufacturer’s recommendations as applicable.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has provided comprehensive guidelines for specific industries such as hotels or restaurants.