Water Quality Guidelines for Reopening Buildings
As Arkansas enters phase one of its reopening plan, customers and employees across the state are returning to facilities that have experienced reduced water use in recent weeks. It’s critical that building operators take steps to address potential chemical and microbial health risks that can develop in water systems that have been idle.
Conway Corp, in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Health, recommends these actions:
- The building’s plumbing should be occasionally flushed during periods of reduced use and thoroughly flushed before full re-occupancy. Flushing will help reduce both microbial and chemical health risks, such as Legionella that could potentially occur when building water systems are not used for extended periods of time. Begin at the meter or point of entry into the building. Flush all fixtures, including all showerheads. Flush outwards as you go through the building, starting at the bottom floor and working up. It is recommended that you flush each of those fixtures for 10 minutes.
- Consider draining any storage tanks, such as water heaters and softeners, to ensure turnover using manufacturer protocols for routine maintenance. Check for sediment that may have collected during the stagnation period.
- Ice machines should be cleaned using manufacturer protocols. After flushing, at least three batches should be dumped to waste before allowing the public to utilize ice.
- Do not be surprised if the water is discolored or becomes discolored when the taps are opened. This is due to the pressure of the water scouring the iron and manganese from the inside of the pipes and should be expected when water sits unused in pipes for a while.
By completing these steps, your water system should be back in proper order and ready for use. If you encounter any water quality issues after you have completed these steps, please contact the Conway Corp at 4500-6000.