May 27, 2020: Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) urges all business owners and property managers to “freshen” the water supplies to their buildings as they reopen after COVID-19 closures.
BJWSA’s Director of Innovation & Technology Tricia Kilgore, P.E. advises businesses and organizations to follow guidelines from some of the top agencies in the country, “Water quality is dynamic and deteriorates over time. Flushing your building’s plumbing will purge the stagnant water and pull in safer, high quality water from the water main.” She also advises schools and school districts take note, once they are cleared for reopening.
The American Water Works Association advises that with little or no water running through building water pipes and fixtures for several months, Legionella is more likely to proliferate. Stagnant water conditions can result in discolored water, lower chlorine levels and higher concentrations of lead and copper.
The Centers for Disease Control offers this checklist for reopening buildings:
• Develop a comprehensive water management program for your water system and all devices that use water. Guidance to help with this process is available from CDC and others.
• Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and the temperature is correctly set.
• Flush your water system.
• Clean all 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 stations, and safety showers are clean and well-maintained.
• Maintain your water system.
For more information, see BJWSA’s webpage with links to other agency guidance at https://bjwsa.org/urgent-news/.