As governments plan for the gradual reopening of the economy, the Canadian Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) has released guidance documents advising water utilities and building owners on how to safely reopen buildings shuttered by the pandemic.
Schools, recreational facilities, entertainment venues and retail buildings have been closed for weeks as a result of shutdown orders. With no occupants, water in the plumbing systems of these buildings can become stagnant, posing microbial and chemical health risks.
According to the CWWA, effects of water stagnation will vary between buildings, depending on a range of factors such as length of shutdown, number of occupants, complexity and integrity of plumbing and whether or not maintenance has been performed during the shutdown.
Both water utilities and building owners are responsible for the safety of water within their respective properties and distribution networks, said the CWWA.
Part One of the CWWA’s guidance document is for water utilities and provides advice on preparing for increased water flushing; recommendations on informing building owners; and guidance on communicating with council, the public and the media.
Part Two of the guidance is aimed at building owners and operators and provides general instructions for flushing and cleaning water systems, as well as links to more detailed resources and information.
The CWWA is encouraging utilities and owners to adapt the fact sheets as needed to reflect their own situations and water parameters such as chlorine residual and temperatures.
Click here to access these guidance documents or contact the CWWA.