Five steps to ensure safe, clean water as buildings reopen
As commercial buildings, including restaurants, offices, and stores, reopen after months of being closed due to the pandemic, it’s important to take steps to ward off potentially harmful drinking water conditions.
That’s according to Triple Clear Water Solutions, a leader in commercial water filtration, which said that buildings that were closed or operating at reduced occupancy for the last few months due to COVID-19 restrictions create the perfect environment for bacteria and metal contaminants to infiltrate commercial plumbing systems.
"In addition to establishing social distancing guidelines and new office procedures, we advise business owners, building managers and real estate developers to seriously consider implementing water safety procedures prior to reopening to keep their employees, tenants and customers safe,” said Patrick Verwys, executive VP, Triple Clear Water Solutions.
Under-used or reduced-capacity water systems often lead to stagnant water in distribution channels and within buildings," according to water industry expert Michael Fehr, co-founder, Fehr Solutions.
“This heightens the chance of bacterial growth within the building, including Legionella, as well as increased levels of metal contaminants like iron and lead due to corrosion from older pipes caused by stagnation,” he said. I strongly urge businesses reopening to have a plan for restoring their water systems, follow the CDC guidelines and consider adding water filtration systems that demonstrate removal of bacterial contaminants like Triple Clear's, at point of entry or point of use."
Triple Clear's water filtration experts recommend that anyone reopening a building after COVID-19 closures take the following steps to ensure safe and clean water:
1. Start planning early. When reopening an under-occupied building, a systematic building flush should begin at least five days before your planned opening.
2. Do a full audit of the property. This includes checking the status of all domestic water and mechanical equipment, understanding the building occupants, and reviewing their plan to re-occupy.
3. Do a risk analysis at the full building level. Now is the time to test, test, test – it's crucial to understand where the concerns lie building-wide so that you can address any issues before reopening.
4. Consider installing or updating filtration with the ability to remove biological hazards and other contaminants. At a time when there are many unknowns, installing a filter at the point of entry or point of use delivers peace of mind, acting as a firewall and first line of defense against harmful contaminants.
5. Keep your records updated at the building level. Flow rates, water temperatures, treatment cycles, and filter maintenance are just a few areas to target when updating your team's water management program.
Triple Clear Water Solutions is a water technology company that provides energy-optimized water filtration systems, delivering safe, clean and purified water for commercial, industrial and consumer markets. Triple Clear's "plug-and-play" solutions are environmentally friendly and are designed to solve the most common and most difficult water purification challenges for potable water, wastewater and HVAC systems.