Flush Water Pipes Before Reoccupying Buildings

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Provided by Prince William County Service Authority (PWCSA)

Reoccupying a commercial building or home that has been vacant for a week or longer? Plan to flush stagnant water from pipes in the structure to replenish plumbing with fresh, disinfected water from the distribution system. The disinfectant used in treated drinking water dissipates when water remains motionless in pipes for a prolonged period. This can lead to a greater risk of Legionella and other potentially harmful bacteria growing and spreading throughout plumbing systems.

Please follow the instructions below to help ensure the quality of the tap water in your business or home.

  • Flush cold water through all plumbing fixtures (faucets, shower heads, etc.) for at least 15 minutes, starting with the fixtures located closest to where water enters the building from the service line.
  • Flush hot water through all plumbing fixtures until the water runs cold. Alternately, drain hot water tanks directly.
  • Clean plumbing fixtures according to manufacturers’ directions.
  • Replace all filters in appliances that use water, including refrigerators, ice makers and dishwashers.
  • Inspect mechanical equipment that use water, such as cooling towers, boilers, pumps and backflow preventers to ensure they are functioning properly.

For more detailed guidance, please click on the following links:



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