WQA Offers General Guidance for Bringing Water Systems Online

May 29, 2020

WQA has released best practices to restart water supply treatment systems as buildings get ready to reopen

The Water Quality Association (WQA) is offering general guidance on bringing water treatment systems back online in buildings which have been vacant or have seen little to no water use. 

The guidelines were discussed in detail during a free webinar May 27, according to the press release.

“Coronavirus itself has not been detected in drinking water supplies. However, stagnant conditions while buildings are unused could cause bacterial growth that may foul or plug water treatment systems if not brought back online properly,” said WQA Technical Affairs Director Eric Yeggy. “Involving water treatment professionals before faucets are turned on makes it a lot easier to properly maintain and sanitize the system effectively and economically.”

Commercial buildings across the U.S., including: schools, office buildings, hotels, resorts, restaurants, childcare facilities and more have closed for a prolonged period of time due to shelter-in-place orders in response to the coronavirus. 

The document addresses ways to proactively plan for the safe and sanitary return from a shutdown, including proper flushing, cleaning, sanitizing and servicing of the treatment systems. The guidelines also discuss special needs of point-of-use filters, reverse osmosis, whole-house filtration, UV treatment and water softeners, as well as water-using appliances.

The guidelines were reviewed in a free webinar, “Life After Lockdown: Bringing Water Treatment Systems Back Online,” on Wednesday, May 27 at 12 EST (11 a.m. CST). Details and registration information are available here

This document is intended for water treatment professionals, but can also be used as a resource by building owners and operators, according to WQA. Other examples include restaurant and coffee shop owners, small businesses, commercial facilities and manufacturing facilities. 

Precautions when dealing with buildings that are only partially vacant or residences left vacant should also be considered as well, added WQA.

Additional resources can be found at the CDC, Purdue University Center for Plumbing Safety, NSF International and the American Water Works Association.

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Cristina Tuser