The Macon Water Authority

790 Second Street • Macon, GA 31202-0108 • (478) 464-5600

Macon Water Authority News

MWA Offers Safe Drinking Water Tips for Businesses as they Reopen

May 19, 2020 by Lisa Golphin

Macon-Bibb Businesses Reopening

As many Middle Georgia businesses join the rest of the State this week and begin to reopen, business owners and property managers should be mindful of a few steps they can take to assure their water is safe to drink.

As a public water utility, the Macon Water Authority (MWA) is regulated by both federal (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and state (Georgia EPD) agencies, that require strict guidelines for providing our customers with safe, reliable high-quality water. We add Chlorine to our water as required by the US EPA, which provides a barrier that prevents the growth of bacteria and viruses in our water system. Additionally, the MWA continually monitors Chlorine levels at all points of the water treatment process to ensure there are sufficient amounts of chlorine in the water as it is pumped throughout our water distribution system from our Frank C. Amerson Water Treatment Plant to your faucet.

However, one of the effects of businesses being closed for prolonged periods of time during the pandemic is the water in the plumbing systems of these buildings often become stagnant, reducing the effectiveness of the chlorination provided during production and through distribution. Therefore, it is recommended that business owners and property managers take precautionary steps to ensure the water in their facilities is safe for consumption prior to use.

GUIDANCE TO ASSIST IN REOPENING YOUR BUSINESS

The MWA recommends that all businesses comply with any applicable plumbing and health code requirements, as well as flush, clean, maintain, and operate devices connected to the plumbing system as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions.

While flushing your water system to replenish the existing stagnant water with freshwater, businesses should follow these steps:

  • FLUSH THE COLD WATER
    1. Remove and clean the filters, screens, and aerators from all faucets. Then turn the cold water on to a full stream for every faucet in the facility. Please be sure to monitor all open faucets and outlets to prevent water damage and flooding in the facility.
    2. Start on the lowest floor and work up to the next highest floor of the facility and so on, to all open faucets have been opened for flushing.
    3. All cold-water outlets should be flowing at the same time during the flushing process.
    4. Flush toilets and urinals two or three times each during this process.
    5. Don’t forget to flush kitchen sprayers and drinking water fountains.
    6. After at least 30 minutes, turn off all cold-water faucets and outlets in the same order in which they were opened.
  • FLUSH THE HOT WATER
    1. Turn the hot water on and open all hot-water faucets and outlets in the same manner and order as the cold-water faucets and outlets were opened.
    2. Run the hot-water outlets throughout the facility for at least 45 minutes to ensure that all water in the hot water heater is flushed out as well. Please be sure to monitor all open faucets and outlets to prevent water damage and flooding in the facility.
    3. Close all open hot-water faucets and outlets in the same manner as they were opened throughout the facility. Please be sure to protect your hands from possible burns, during this process, as some faucets and outlets may be extremely hot.

*For more information on how to restore the water quality in buildings that have been closed during the pandemic or inactive for an extended period, please visit https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/information-maintaining-or-restoring-water-quality-buildings-low-or-no-use. *

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