ODH and OEPA Recommendations for Water Supply Flushing for Reopening of Buildings Under Statewide COVID-19 Transition Plan

Ciara Lewis Community News

Notification from:
Ohio EPA – Division of Drinking and Ground Waters

During the Stay at Home Order, many Ohio businesses, manufacturing facilities, churches and community buildings have been vacant or only partially occupied.  For buildings within your distribution system that have had little to no water usage, please follow these guidelines.

In re-opening , it is important that businesses:
Flush water that has been stagnant in cold- and hot-water distribution lines and fixtures.
Drain, flush and disinfect devices that store water like drinking fountains, hot water heaters, dental and medical equipment, and manufacturing devices that spray or mist water.

If your non-community public water system is preparing to re-open, please contact your Ohio EPA District Office inspector at 614-644-3020 to discuss flushing, monitoring and compliance requirements prior to opening.

Low water usage in buildings can lead to water quality deterioration that may be associated with public health risks including bacterial growth and unsafe levels of metals. 

The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency have developed recommended procedures that are posted at epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/pws/guidance-for-premise-plumbing-water-service-restoration.pdf. A letter for building occupants, owners and tenants is also available at epa.ohio.gov/Portals/28/documents/pws/ODH-OhioEPA-Building-Owners-Occupants-Tenants.pdf. Please consider sharing this information with customers that will be re-opening.

The EPA also recommends a professional experienced in water management plans or a license plumber be consulted when disinfecting distribution systems within a building.

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