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The original item was published from 5/28/2020 12:13:00 PM to 7/16/2020 9:10:49 AM.

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Economic Development

Posted on: May 11, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Getting ready to re-open a closed business? Follow these tips for safe drinking water


May 11, 2020 - Directors of Hampton Roads’ water utilities and health department officials advise business owners and operators who closed or evacuated buildings due to COVID-19 to thoroughly flush their establishment’s plumbing systems before reopening.  

“Drinking water systems are designed to support the continuous delivery of safe water. When buildings go unused, so too does the water sitting in pipes,” said Dan Horne, field director at the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Drinking Water. “To make sure drinking water systems are at safe levels of disinfection before employees return to work, it’s important that all of the water in the building be flushed out and replaced with fresh water from the water utility system.” 

These practices are recommended for schools, daycares, lodging, offices, places of worship, event venues, retail, libraries, museums, restaurants, gyms, healthcare and other facilities which have remained closed during the COVID-19 shutdown. 

When water is not used, the disinfectant in the water dissipates over time. Without chlorinated water flowing through the pipes for an extended period, microorganisms can grow in water pipes, fixtures and tanks. Prolonged water stagnation also can diminish the normal, protective scale on interior pipe walls. Without the protective scale, metal from the piping may dissolve into the water.

Instructions for flushing water system
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