SIX Common Water Safety Mistakes When Re-Opening Your Building & HOW To Avoid Them!
Building Re-opening Water Safety
How to address water system disruptions caused by partial or full building closures
Mistake #1 – Mixing the Incorrect Disinfectants Before Knowing Which Primary Chemical Is Actually Needed
There are several factors that make this an important consideration as you reopen your building following a COVID-19 closure. Knowing the right mixture, especially with the right primary chemical, is needed to address your water disinfection needs.
Mistake #2 – Setting Water Heater Temperatures Too Low
Many facilities managers turn down the temperature of water heaters to save energy. Legionella thrives within a temperature range of 77°F-108°F. Temperature range can cause additional problems in situations when a building is shut down due to COVID-19 closures.
Mistake #3 – Failing to Replace Water Filters
Filtration systems can provide a barrier to bacteria, viruses, and cysts. Filter replacement schedules for ice machines, sinks, and shower heads, etc. need to be followed. Waterborne pathogens are on the rise due to a lack of proper biofilm abatement and filtration.
Mistake #4 – Overlooking Water Features & Other Common Water Systems
Water safety is required for all building systems that rely on water. Your water safety team must take into consideration common water systems. Often overlooked systems can include decorative fountains, ice machines, sprinklers, safety equipment, and other end-use water devices.
Mistake #5 – Assuming Flushing Pipes & Drains is Enough
Removing dead water and replacing it with live water is important. However, other considerations related to flushing, like the presence of biofilms, need to addressed to ensure water is safe. If a waterborne pathogen like Legionella is present within biofilms on pipe walls or on valves, fixtures, and fittings, flushing will not remove it.
Mistake #6 – Not Including Your Entire Water Safety Group
Reopening a building after a COVID-19 closure goes beyond simple maintenance. Often testing and documentation is required. Your water safety team should include team members beyond facilities maintenance as it affects the overall and safety of your employees, visitors, and tenants.
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