RESTORING WATER QUALITY
IN BUILDINGS FOR REOPENING
Building and business closures for weeks or months reduce water usage,
potentially leading to stagnant water inside building plumbing. This water
can become unsafe to drink or otherwise use for personal or commercial
purposes. EPA recommends that building owners, building managers, and
businesses take steps to flush the building’s plumbing before reopening.
BEFORE FLUSHING BUILDINGS
STEPS FOR FLUSHING BUILDINGS
OTHER ACTIONS TO CONSIDER
Contact your water utility about local water quality and to coordinate maintenance activities.
Check information from your local public health department for any local requirements for reopening.
Follow appropriate regulations and policies for worker safety and health.
Review how water moves through your building, from the street to each point of use.
Inspect the plumbing.
Maintain any water treatment systems (e.g., lters, water-softeners) following manufacturer’s instructions.
Ensure the hot water system is operating as specied.
Flush the service line that runs from the water main to the building.
Flush the cold water lines.
Drain and clean water storage facilities and hot water heaters.
Flush the hot water lines.
Flush, clean, and maintain devices connected to the plumbing system following manufacturer’s instructions.
Notify your building occupants of the status of the water systems and the ushing program.
Limit access to or use of the water as an appropriate cautionary phase.
Determine if proactive disinfection/heat treatment is necessary.
Develop a water management program.
For more information, please visit EPA.GOV/CORONAVIRUS
Flushing involves opening taps and
letting the water run to remove water
that has been standing in the interior
pipes and/or outlets. The flushing time
by the plumbing configuration
and type of outlet being cleared.
Consider checking water quality parameters to verify that fresh water is being ushed through the entire plumbing system.