May 4, 2020
Water Supply Flushing Encouraged as Businesses Reopen
“During the Stay at Home Order, many Sidney businesses, manufacturing facilities, churches and community buildings have been vacant or only partially occupied. As those facilities that have had little to no water usage re-open, it is important that they flush water that has been stagnant in cold- and hot-water distribution lines and fixtures. It is also critical that buildings drain, flush and disinfect devices that store water like drinking fountains, hot water heaters, dental and medical equipment, and manufacturing devices that spray or mist water,” shared Assistant City Manager/Public Works Director Gary Clough.
According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, flushing should be the first step when buildings and homes are returned to service after an extended period of discontinued service (e.g., weeks or months). Clough added, “In general, flushing involves opening taps and other fixtures (including showerheads) starting closest to the building entry and working towards the distal end and letting the water run to remove any stagnant water within the plumbing and fixtures. Flushing should continue long enough to ensure that accumulated material is removed, which can be verified by testing.”
Testing and disinfection should follow the flushing process. The city suggests that a licensed plumber be consulted when disinfecting distribution systems within a building.
Low water usage in buildings can lead to water quality deterioration that may be associated with public health risks including bacterial growth and unsafe levels of metals.