Building Water Systems Guidance

Ensure the Safety of your Building Water System and Devices After a Prolonged Shutdown

In buildings with reduced water use or no water use in the past few weeks or months,  water sitting in pipes can stagnate and cause problems such as discoloration and bad taste or odor.
The water may lack the residual chlorine that provides disinfection.

To avoid that, there are some basic steps that can be taken to flush out the pipes and get fresh water flowing through the building.

Flush all water in your building

  • You should flush all water lines and plumbing fixtures in your building to remove stagnant water.
  • Run the water in each fixture until the water runs cold, for cold-water taps, and hot, for hot water taps.
  • Begin the flushing process closest to where the water enters the building, working your way out to the most distant points.
  • Be sure to flush and clean appliances that use water such as dishwashers and ice machines.

The Minnesota Department of Health has  information that may be helpful to you in this process.

The Center for Disease Control also offers guidance.