BRIDGEPORT, CONN. – May 18, 2020 – Aquarion Water Company reminds business owners who have closed their buildings during the pandemic to flush building water systems prior to returning to normal use of their tap water. After an extended period of non-use, potable water can become stagnant. By flushing internal/external systems, fresh water is drawn into the building from the company’s water mains. Fresh water is constantly flowing throughout Aquarion’s water distribution system.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has developed return to service guidance for internal building water systems. DPH’s introductory guidance is as follows:
This guidance document is intended for building water systems which have not been utilized for a prolonged period of time resulting in stagnation of potable water. Stagnation of potable water in building plumbing may cause changes in temperature, lost of chlorine residual, biofilm/Legionella growth, biofilm disruption, and plumbing corrosion resulting in discolored water, odor, lead and/or copper release, and disinfection byproduct formation. If not properly managed, stagnant potable water could pose a health risk. Further, mechanical equipment such as cooling towers, boilers and pumps may not have received any routine maintenance and backflow preventers may have missed annual test cycles. Therefore, the Department of Public Health (DPH) recommends the owners of building water systems that have not been used for a prolonged period of time follow the following protocols before the building is reopened for use and occupancy. Flushing you building water lines includes flushing interior and exterior faucets, showers, water and ice dispensers, and water treatment units, as well as any other building water lines. Prior to any flushing, the building owner should contact the public water system that supplies water to the building to ensure a coordinated effort. Additionally, to maintain high quality water in a building at all times, building owners and operators should implement a water management program (WMP) that follows industry recommendations, such as ASHRAE 188 (2018) or similar to continually reduce the risk of infections due to water quality degradation. It is important to note that each building is different so flushing may need to be tailored accordingly.
The complete DPH guidance document is available at www.aquarionwater.com/customer-care/covid-19 or www.ct.gov/dph. Additional guidance is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html.
Business customers with additional flushing questions can contact Aquarion Customer Service at 1-800-732-9678.
Aquarion Water Company is the public water supply company for more than 625,000 people in 52 cities and towns throughout Connecticut, as well as serving customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It is the largest investor-owned water utility in New England and among the seven largest in the U.S. Based in Bridgeport, CT, it has been in the public water supply business since 1857. Across its operations, Aquarion strives to act as a responsible steward of the environment and to assist the communities it serves in promoting sustainable practices. Aquarion Water Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eversource.