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Flush Water Pipes before Reoccupying Buildings

Prior to reoccupying a commercial building or home that has been vacant for a week or longer, flush stagnant water from pipes in the structure to replenish plumbing with fresh, disinfected water from the distribution system.

  • 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.

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