Important information for reopening buildings after being vacant
By Christina Asai, 6:54 pm on May 19, 2020
Has your school, restaurant, or business been closed up due to the recent stay-at-home orders? Ensure that your water system is safe to use after a prolonged shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases associated with water.
Water provided by the Vallecitos Water District continues to meet all state and federal drinking water standards — but after water leaves Vallecitos’ distribution system and enters private service connections, the water quality can deteriorate if water becomes stagnant. Stagnant water can cause conditions that increase the risk for growth and spread of Legionella and other biofilm-associated bacteria. Building owners and managers must actively manage and maintain plumbing systems to prevent bacteria growth. Bacteria can flourish in pipes, fixtures and associated equipment (like fountains, cooling towers and HVAC systems) that aren’t used for several days. Schools, for example, commonly flush pipes before kids and teachers return from breaks.
For more information, free resources are listed below:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance to ensure the safety of building water systems and devices after a prolonged shutdown. This “Guidance for Building Water Systems” from the Centers for Disease Control lists eight steps to take before your business or building reopens.
Vallecitos’ wholesaler, the San Diego County Water Authority, has also created a simple fact sheet for building owners and managers to help prepare inactive plumbing systems for building re-occupancy.
Information in this article provided courtesy of Chamber member Vallecitos Water District.