Building water systems may need to be flushed
On March 16, 2020 the Santa Clara County Public Health Officer issued a Public Health Order requiring residents to shelter-in-place, with exceptions for essential needs and businesses. The shelter-in-place order has been extended and remains in place until rescinded. This order resulted in the mandatory closure of many buildings and businesses in the County.
Valley Water would like to remind building owners and managers that while the valley's water supply remains safe, after any extended period of closure of a building there may be internal water quality issues that emerge upon reopening of the facility.
- The closure of a building may result in significant reduction in water use throughout the building, which could result in degradation of water quality
- Water-borne bacteria may have grown in the stagnant water in a building's internal plumbing system
- Buildings and large service connections that shut down or significantly reduced water use have an increased risk of Legionella growth in pipes, refrigerators, water heaters, and/or onsite storage tanks, and an increased potential of leaching of lead and copper
If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact your water retailer.
Take action to ensure the safety of your employees and customers
As the shelter-in-place order is modified and businesses begin to reopen, Valley Water would like to remind building managers and business owners to take action to ensure the water is safe to consume.
Here are some resources to assist you in preparing your water system to ensure that high-quality, safe and reliable water service can be restored.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), May 2020: Checklist to assist customers in restoring water quality in buildings for reopening
- Water Works Association (AWWA), April 2020: Notice on returning homes to service
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), April 2020: Guidance for Building Water Systems
- Environmental Science, Policy & Research Institute (ESPRI), April 2020: Building Water Quality and Coronavirus: Flushing Guidance for Periods of Low or No Use
- California State Water Resources Control Board, May 2020: Reactivating Service and Operations
- Water Research Foundation (WRF), May 2019: Flushing Guidance for Premise Plumbing and Service Lines to Avoid or Address a Drinking Water Advisory