120Water Offers Tips to Ensure Quality Drinking Water as Schools and Facilities Open After Pandemic

Zionsville, Indiana, UNITED STATES

ZIONSVILLE, Ind., May 04, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Covid-19 pandemic closed schools, daycares, offices, and other buildings, and now the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is raising concerns about the drinking water that has been sitting stagnant in pipes. 120Water, a comprehensive digital water platform in use at more than 180,000 locations across the nation, is addressing this issue in an upcoming webinar and is offering best practices for safely reopening the drinking water supply. Click to Tweet.

According to 120Water experts, stagnant or standing water in building plumbing systems can negatively influence water quality in several ways.

“One of the biggest problems is lead in water,” said Erica Walker, director of policy & programs at 120Water. “Any facility built before 2014 may have lead pipes or plumbing fixtures, and the protective scaling that forms on pipes can be compromised as water sits, allowing lead to dissolve more readily into drinking water.”

In addition, the very chemicals that are added to drinking water to make it safe can cause issues as water sits.

“Chlorine is often used to disinfect water, but this can interact with organic matter and create harmful chemical byproducts, especially if water is allowed to sit in pipes for too long,” said Walker. “In addition, chlorine and other disinfectants lose their efficacy over time, which could allow for the growth of bacteria, such as Legionella.”

120Water recommends that building managers take three steps to ensure drinking water quality as buildings reopen:

Maintain drinking water equipment—When buildings were closed, scheduled maintenance may have been impossible. Before reopening buildings, managers should ensure that drinking water equipment is maintained, including the testing of backflow preventers, and standard maintenance of water cooling towers, boilers, and pumps.

Clean aerators/outlets and flush the system—Manual or automated flushing of drinking water clears out low quality water that has accumulated and replaces it with fresh water that has been treated recently. Flushing once for several minutes daily will not be effective and it's important to follow best practices on flushing procedures. Templates are available from the Purdue Center for Plumbing Safety and the Environmental Science, Policy & Research Institute.

Monitor water quality—Perform water tests to isolate and remediate issues before and after the building reopens. It’s a good idea to test for Legionella as well as lead and chlorine levels, and make adjustments as necessary. Testing for metals and other parameters can also be used to verify that your flushing procedures are effective. Turn off taps or provide access to filters to protect public health in the near term if high concentrations of metals persist.

120Water and Noah Water will co-host a webinar that covers these and other best practices. “Stagnation in Facilities: Water Quality’s Impact on Public Health” will be held May 13 at 1pm EST with Michael Ramos, president of Noah Water, and Erica Walker, director of environmental policy and programs at 120Water. Register at https://120water.com/resource/stagnation-in-facilities-water-qualitys-impact-on-public-health/

About 120Water
Water professionals across the country rely on 120Water to streamline and modernize their most complex drinking water initiatives. The 120Water platform consists of sample & filter kits, cloud-based software, and services used to manage and execute water programs at scale while saving operational resources. 120Water solutions are used in 180,000 locations across the United States for clients including the city of Newark (NJ), Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, Chicago Public Schools, Indiana Finance Authority, and Mott McDonald. More information is available at 120WaterAudit.com and on Twitter @120WaterAudit.

For information contact:

Linda Muskin, 847-432-7300

Mara Conklin, 847-816-9411