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Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation – Ohio Resources

By mid-March, workplaces were shutting down across America as States began issuing “stay at home” orders and all non-essential businesses closed their doors.

One area of concern is water management and commercial water systems. When workplaces remain unoccupied, the water in the building lies stagnant.

During this prolonged shutdown, standing water in a building’s water system can become a secondary health threat for returning workers. Risks include the growth and spread of Legionella, the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires Disease, along with other biofilm-associated bacteria that can take advantage of stagnant water, lower hot water temperatures, and the dissipation of chlorine and other disinfectant treatments over time.

Ensure the safety of your occupants, building water system and devices by reviewing official recommendations.

Ohio Specific Resources

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for building water systems during the COVID-19 outbreak: 8 Steps to Take Before Your Business or Building Reopens.

What Buildings are at Risk?

Every facility that has been unoccupied for weeks to months during the pandemic could be at risk.  This includes office buildings, hotels, shopping malls, and even college dormitories. Water treatment chemicals can only treat the areas of a system where water is flowing. As water remains stagnant, problems with scaling, corrosion, and biofilm can rapidly advance.

Building owners and maintenance professionals are being urged to address this risk as States and the Federal Government plan for the reopening of America. Water systems should be tested, treated, and properly flushed before workers, students, and customers return to their regular routines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance for building water systems during the COVID-19 outbreak: 8 Steps to Take Before Your Business or Building Reopens.

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