BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Officials with the Baton Rouge Water Company want to warn businesses preparing to reopen after being closed due to COVID-19 to flush their building’s water system of stagnated water.
“It is exciting to see that many of our community’s businesses will begin to reopen in the upcoming weeks. And, as businesses take the appropriate safety measures such as disinfecting touch surfaces prior to opening those doors to the public, the same should be done with the building’s water system,” said Pat Kerr, President, and CEO of the Baton Rouge Water Company.
Kerr says prolonged building water stagnation can lead to elevated lead, copper, and Legionella levels, as well as discolored water.
He also warns water that has been sitting in internal plumbing systems for extended periods, with little to no use, may acquire an objectionable smell, like rotten eggs, or have a metallic taste.
Large businesses may already have a protocol in place that is taken care of by a building superintendent or maintenance vendor; however, smaller businesses may not.
Kerr recommends starting by flushing all cold water lines first and then the hot water lines.
After you have flushed all of the water lines, Kerr says it’s important to throw out all ice from ice machines, as well as flush, and disinfect the ice machines. He says you should also run dishwashers while empty, replace point-of-use water filters, and clean water fixtures, such as faucets and showerheads. And, don’t forget to flush the hot water heater as well.
That objectionable smell or taste from the stagnant water will continue to hang around if the hot water heater is left out of the flushing process.
Kerr also recommends business leaders view the online guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for how to safely manage a building’s water system and devices after a prolonged shutdown. You can view the CDC’s guidance by clicking here.
If you’re unsure about tackling the problem yourself, Kerr says you can contact a local licensed plumber for help.
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