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Refresh Your Water for Re-Opening

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Recommended Guidance for Water System Flushing

The public health crisis caused by COVID-19 has left many businesses and other public facilities vacant with very little to no water usage for an extended period of time.  While Victorville City water continues to meet and/or exceed all water quality regulations, water that is left inside unused buildings and becomes stagnant can cause an increased risk for growth and spread of Legionella and other biofilm-associated bacteria.

Proper flushing of internal plumbing within your facility is critical to assure safe water consumption.  Fresh water should be drawn into building water systems and stagnant water flushed out before re-opening.

To restore your building with fresh water, we recommend the following guidance provided by the CDC and the EPA:

  • Identify all water taps, toilets, shower and bathtub fixtures, refrigerator/freezers with an ice maker or water supply, drinking fountains, and any other source of potable water.
  • Turn on all the water taps with drains simultaneously for 10-15 minutes.  Check to make sure each drain is in proper working condition.
  • Flush each toilet to refresh the water tank and empty the old water from the bowl.
  • Discard old ice in the refrigerator/freezer, and continue to remove new ice for the duration of three to five cycles. 
  • Run the water from the refrigerator dispenser to refill the water line.
  • If the hot water has a sulfur smell or other odor, consider draining your water heater before use.  
  • Remember to shut off all water taps after flushing.
  • Ensure your water heater is properly maintained. 
  • Clean all decorative water features such as fountains.
  • Ensure all cooling towers are clean and well-maintained; ensure that the tower and basin are free of visible slime, debris and biofilm before use. 
  • Follow appropriate regulations and policies for worker safety and health while performing all activities. 

For further information and guidance on water use and flushing please visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

To learn more about restoring water in buildings with low or no use please visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Other helpful resources for industry-specific guidance:

If you need assistance or have questions regarding this guidance please call our Water Quality Division at (760) 955-2266 or (760) 955-2993.