Thousands of businesses across Maryland and the country faced unprecedented shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as various industries reopen or face additional closures, it’s critical to know the safe way to reopen the building. Many modern buildings are not designed to lie vacant for extended periods of disuse, so reopening your building after a prolonged shutdown requires special considerations for water safety.
Water Safety When Reopening Your Building After COVID-19 Shutdowns
The CDC and EPA have released guidelines to help all business owners and property managers safely reopen buildings. When buildings close down, water use drastically decreases and stagnant water sits inside of the pipes and plumbing. While stagnant water might not seem hazardous, it can be very dangerous when the chemicals and disinfectants used to treat water evaporate and allow bacteria to flourish. Products of disinfectants, many of which are carcinogenic, can also accumulate in the pipes. One of the most dangerous water quality issues is the proliferation of Legionella and biofilm-associated bacteria.
Whenever water stays stagnant for an extended period of time, the hot water temperatures can slip to the ideal growth range for Legionella, 77-108 degrees. This substance leads to Legionnaires’ disease, and people who are at an increased risk of the disease should take particular care when flushing out pipes when reopening your building.
When you complete the flushing process, you should always wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) as it can release dangerous aerosols into the air. After you are finished, you should test the water quality to make sure that it falls in line with all EPA water safety standards. Hague Quality Water of Maryland can assist with the testing process and ensure that your building has adequate water filtration practices to keep employees and customers safe and healthy as they return to the office.
How to Prepare Your Pipes for Reopening Your Building
- Inspect the plumbing for any leaks or obvious issues before you start the flushing process.
- Start by flushing all of the plumbing with fresh water to get rid of sediment, settled contaminants and stagnant water. Always wear PPE when doing so. Flush both cold water and hot water lines, and also check to make sure that the hot water heating system is functioning correctly.
- Think critically about all of the fixtures and piping infrastructure that need to be flushed and ensure that you properly flush all pipes and fixtures. Depending on how long the water has been sitting and the corrosiveness of the water, additional treatment may be needed beyond simply flushing.
- Work with an experienced water testing and treatment company like Hague Quality Water of Maryland to adjust the water as necessary.
- Complete the checklist issued by the EPA for a comprehensive overview of restoring your building water when reopening your building.
- Create a water management program that works for you now and prepares you for potential future shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prepare for Reopening Your Building During the COVID-19 Pandemic with Hague Quality Water of Maryland
As your business and property prepare to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are here to help with your water improvement and filtration projects. As a new offering and in addition to our free on-site water test for new customers, we are offering a contact-free water test kit for only $200. This kit is mailed directly to you so that you can take samples and mail them to a lab. You’ll receive the results directly and our team can work with you to determine the perfect solution for your situation. To purchase your kit today, click here.
Once you’ve gotten the results from your water test, our experts will walk you through our effective water treatment solutions such as the Hague WaterMax® BEQ. This specially designed water treatment system is perfect for filtering city water, guaranteeing the water distributed throughout your building is clean and safe, especially after a prolonged shutdown.
Another option we offer to help you prepare your building for reopening is our commercial bottleless water coolers. These state-of-the-art water coolers conveniently deliver filtered hot and cold water without the hassle of water jugs, giving you and your employees the peace of mind you deserve. For additional assistance, call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 757-2992.