RWA Urges Reopening Businesses To Follow DPH’S Return To Service Flushing Guidance

RWA Urges Reopening Businesses To Follow DPH’S Return To Service Flushing Guidance

May 11, 2020

As Connecticut prepares for the first phase to reopen certain businesses later this month, the Regional Water Authority (RWA) is urging all reopening businesses to follow return to service flushing guidance offered by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH). Water left in the internal plumbing of unused buildings can become stagnant, raising health, safety and taste concerns. The steps recommended by DPH to flush stagnant water can be found on the RWA's website.

Water delivered to the tap by the RWA has been filtered and treated to ensure it is safe and high-quality. The quality of the RWA’s water has not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, if a business's water system has not been utilized for several weeks, water in the internal plumbing will have become stagnant, which may cause health, safety and taste issues.

The RWA’s water quality experts have begun directly contacting business owners whose water may have become stagnant due to social distancing restrictions. These businesses are being directed to the steps recommended by DPH to remove stagnant water from an internal plumbing system.

Before reopening, DPH recommends that businesses bring their water systems back into service by thoroughly and methodically flushing all faucets, shower heads, ice makers and other water fixtures with cold water first and hot water second. Businesses should consider hiring a professional to assist with this process, especially in cases where HVAC systems are present. DPH recommends that after flushing is completed, all equipment be examined and water quality be tested.

Water left stagnant in an internal plumbing system can corrode pipes, resulting in discoloration, unpleasant odors or other quality issues. Stagnant water can also cause the growth of harmful bacteria, such as Legionella, which can make people ill if they breathe in small droplets of water in the air that contain the bacteria. For this reason, it is important that businesses follow a careful flushing protocol so that they can safely reopen.