PIQUA — As businesses are returning and preparing to open back up, per Governor Mike DeWine’s newest COVID-19 order, it is important to remember most buildings have had little or no water usage during the last few weeks. Flushing this stagnant water for both cold and hot water distribution lines and fixtures will ensure the safety of customers utilizing these businesses again. This is especially important for office buildings, manufacturing facilities, medical offices, government facilities, eating establishments, and religious institutions.
Serious illnesses can occur when the water is not flushed. Low water usage can present bacterial growth such as Legionella, bacteria that can cause a serious type of pneumonia called Legionnaire’s disease. Depending on the age of the pipes the water has been stagnant in, other health risks arise due to the buildup of copper or lead.
Some examples of items that will need flushed, disinfected if necessary, after prolonged lack of use include: water fountains, water heaters, storage tanks, cooling towers, humidifiers, and showerheads.
Any medical, manufacturing, or processing equipment should be flushed and disinfected.
To help businesses know if their water is safe to begin using, the city of Piqua Utilities Department, Water Division, is offering free water sample testing to those businesses whose water lines have been stagnant.
In order to use this service, please contact the Piqua Water Treatment Plant at 937-778-2090, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. A city employee will come to your business to take the sample, return to the lab for testing, and will send you the results as soon as possible.
For more information, the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health has released the document “Guidance for Premise Plumbing Water Service Restoration,” which can be found on the city’s website piquaoh.org.