Fort Collins Utilities is warning business customers who have been closed due to coronavirus concerns to remember to take steps to retain safe water quality.
When water isn’t being used regularly, chlorine residual levels can decrease and lower the quality of drinking water, the city warns in a news release.
So building occupants should remember to flush their water service lines and internal plumbing, the city says, especially when buildings have had low or no occupancy.
Flushing plumbing lines helps decrease risks from bacterial growth and metals that can accumulate when water sits in pipes for extended periods of time.
If lines can’t be flushed, then warnings should be posted near all drinking water sources advising people not to drink the water.
How to flush a plumbing system
Fort Collins Utilities recommends the following steps, but every building will be different depending on plumbing configuration, building size and number of faucets:
- Begin at one of the farthest sinks from the water main (usually located on the highest floor, farthest from the street).
- Turn on the cold water faucet and let it run until the water flowing out is consistently cold. Do not attempt to flush by running the hot water.
- Next, run the cold water from each fixture throughout the building until that water also runs cold.
- After flushing, if your building has an ice machine, it should be emptied of remaining ice, and any ice made within 24 hours should be emptied as well.
Fort Collins Utilities estimates it takes approximately 10 minutes of daily flushing in buildings with low occupancy and 30 to 45 minutes weekly for unoccupied buildings. The key is to flush the lines until the water runs cold.
Another option is to flush toilets, remembering to begin with those located farthest from the water main.
If you have questions about building flushing practices or your water quality in general, email UtilitiesCustomerAccounts@fcgov.com or call 970-416-4268. Learn more about water quality at fcgov.com/water-quality.
Rebecca Powell is a content coach at the Coloradoan. If you know of an impactful story you believe needs to be reported, send it to RebeccaPowell@coloradoan.com. We can’t do the important work of keeping our community informed without you. Support the Coloradoan with a digital subscription.
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