The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has issued the following memo regarding water supply flushing:
As businesses and buildings reopen under the “Responsible RestartOhio” plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that have had little to no water usage, it is important to flush water that has been stagnant. Low water usage can contribute to bacterial growth, including Legionella which can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaires’ disease. It can also cause other water quality issues with potential health risks due to the build-up of lead and copper in stagnant water that’s been collecting in older pipes and fixtures.
As buildings reopen, it is critical to drain, flush, and if necessary based on a review of building conditions, disinfect the hot and cold-water systems to remove harmful contaminants. Devices that store water, such as drinking water fountains, water heaters, storage tanks, and any droplet or mist-forming devices such as cooling towers, humidifiers, showerheads, and certain medical and manufacturing devices and process equipment should also be flushed and disinfected in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations or industry best practices.
The Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has issued a letter with more information, which you can access HERE, as well as “Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration”, which you can access HERE.
All questions should be directed to the Ohio Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
Here are a couple of additional suggestions from the Village for getting back in buildings that haven’t been used in awhile:
- Flush sink fixtures for 3-5 minutes to remove stagnate water especially prior to use for consumption;
- Dump automatic ice bins 2-3 times before consumption;
- Flush toilets 2-3 times to wash down the drain;
- Pour a gallon of water down drains that have not been in use for 30 days. This will prevent sewer gas from entering the building from dry P traps in the drains; and
- Check dates on perishables left in refrigerators.
Feel to contact the Village Utility Office with any additional questions at (513) 494-2296.