Reopening Commercial Buildings After COVID-19 Closures


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Your tap water is safe to drink during the COVID-19 crisis.  However, maintaining water quality in your building is a shared responsibility. We deliver safe and reliable drinking water to your property. You are responsible for maintaining the water quality once it enters your building.

Row of sinks in public restroom
Reopening building water systems after prolonged shutdown

Water quality within commercial buildings that have been vacant or have seen little use during the pandemic restrictions may be impacted as a result of low flow or stagnant water in pipes.

Stagnant water in pipes can create conditions that favor the growth and spread of Legionella and other harmful bacteria, result in lower chlorine levels in buildings, and/or result in increased lead and copper levels that can leach out of building pipes and fixtures.

Building owners or tenants should take the following actions to reduce these risks:  

    • Check your hot water system. Set your hot water heater at 120 degrees F. When flushing hot water taps, run the water until it reaches its highest temperature.

Hot tubs, pools and cooling towers

The Centers for Disease Control offer additional guidance for buildings with pools, hot tubs and cooling towers. Read CDC Guidance for Building Water Systems to learn more.