HAMPTON, NH. – 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 New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has developed specific procedures for flushing building water systems. NHDES’s introductory guidance is as follows:
Return to Normal
When things begin to get back to normal, water systems should follow proper startup and flushing procedures at locations that have been closed temporarily, or have a significant reduction in water use due to COVID-19.
Startup and Flushing Procedures for Municipal and Large Water Systems
Facilities such as restaurants, schools, and businesses served by a municipal/large water system may be temporarily closed or have substantially reduced their water consumption due to the social distancing requirements. All public water systems have continued to monitor water quality in accordance with their water sampling plans including bacteria and all regulated water parameters. However, water may remain stagnant in the piping of closed facilities which can cause conditions that can increase the risk for growth of bacteria including Legionella, and create unsafe levels of lead or copper. To ensure that water is safe to drink when the facility is returned to normal service, it is recommended that all hot and cold taps be flushed through all points (faucets, showers, ice-machines, dishwashers) to reintroduce fresh water throughout the building. Hot water taps should be flushed until it reaches its maximum temperature, and cold water taps should be flushed until water runs cold, indicating fresh water from the main.
The complete NHDES guidance document is available at www.aquarionwater.com/customer-care/covid-19 or www.des.nh.gov/covid19/documents/reopening-flushing-procedures.pdf. 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 700,000 people in 68 cities and towns in Connecticut, 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, Aquarion 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.