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As schools prepare to reopen for in-person learning around the country, the Water Quality Association (WQA) is offering general guidance on bringing water treatment systems back online in buildings that have been vacant or have seen little or no water use. The guidelines are available on WQA's website and were discussed in detail during a May webinar.
"Coronavirus itself has not been detected in drinking water supplies. However, stagnant conditions while buildings are unused could cause bacterial growth that may foul or plug water treatment systems if not brought back online properly," said Eric Yeggy, WQA technical affairs director. "Involving water treatment professionals before faucets are turned on makes it a lot easier to properly maintain and sanitize the system effectively and economically."
The guidelines suggest actions water treatment professionals can take as part of an overall recommissioning plan for schools as well as commercial, industrial, manufacturing or retail businesses shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. The document also can be used as a resource by restaurant and coffee shop owners, small businesses and retail establishments, and even homeowners.
The document addresses ways to proactively plan for the safe and sanitary return from a shutdown, including proper flushing, cleaning, sanitizing and servicing of the treatment systems. The guidelines also discuss special needs of point-of-use filters, reverse osmosis, whole-house filtration, UV treatment and water softeners, as well as water-using appliances.
Yeggy reviewed the guidelines in the webinar, "Life After Lockdown: Bringing Water Treatment Systems Back Online."