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Friday, August 7, 2020

Cleaning Workplaces Post Coronavirus

Posted by on Monday, June 15th, 2020 in COVID-19, Notices

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidance to ensure the safety of building water systems and end-use devices after a prolonged shutdown. This CDC guidance is located at the following web address: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html.

Travis County Water Control and Improvement District No. 17 (WCID 17) uses Chloramination as a residual disinfection process and continuously monitors current residual disinfectant levels throughout the District. WCID 17 continuously maintains its water system by flushing water mains and dead end mains throughout the District and take disinfectant residuals per the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) guidelines.

To ensure the safety of your building(s) water system we recommend flushing your water lines and using the information below as a guideline.

  • Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and the temperature is correctly set
    1. Determine if your manufacturer recommends draining the water heater after a prolonged period of disuse. Ensure that all maintenance activities are carried out according to the manufacturer’s instructions or by professionals.
    2. Make sure that your water heater is set to at least 120°F
    3. Higher temperatures can further reduce the risk of Legionella growth, but ensure that you take measures to prevent scalding if you water heater is set to >130°F
  • Flush your water system
    1. Flush hot and cold water through all points of use (e.g., showers, sink faucets)
      1. Flushing may need to occur in segments (e.g., floors or individual rooms) due to facility size and water pressure. The purpose of building flushing is to replace all water inside building piping with fresh water.
    2. Flush until the hot water reaches its maximum temperature
  • Clean all decorative water features, such as fountains
    1. Be sure to follow any recommended manufacturer guidelines for cleaning
    2. Ensure that decorative water features are free of visible slime or biofilm
    3. After the water feature has been re-filled, measure disinfectant levels to ensure that the water is safe for use
  • Ensure hot tubs/spas are safe for use
    1. Check for existing guidelines from your local or state regulatory agency before use
    2. Ensure that hot tubs/spas are free of visible slime or biofilm before filling with water
    3. Perform a hot tub/spa disinfection procedure before use
      1. CDC Guidance (follow Steps 4–9 and 12–13)  https://www.cdc.gov/legionella/downloads/hot-tub-disinfection.pdfpdf icon
      2. Facilities may decide to test the hot tub/spa for Legionella before returning to service if previous device maintenance logs, bacterial testing results, or associated cases of Legionnaires’ disease indicate an elevated level of risk to occupants. All Legionella testing decisions should be made in consultation with facility water management program staff along with relevant public health authorities.
  • Ensure cooling towers are clean and well-maintained
    1. Ensure that cooling towers are maintained (including start-up and shut-down procedures) per manufacturer’s guidelines and industry best practices
    2. Ensure that the tower and basin are free of visible slime or biofilm before use
  • Ensure safety equipment including fire sprinkler systems, eye wash stations, and safety showers are clean and well-maintained
    1. Regularly flush, clean, and disinfect these systems according to manufacturers’ specifications.
  • Maintain your water system
    1. Consider contacting your local water utility to learn about any recent disruptions in the water supply. This could include working with the local water utility to ensure that standard checkpoints near the building or at the meter to the building have recently been checked or request that disinfectant residual entering the building meets expected standards.
    2. After your water system has returned to normal, ensure that the risk of Legionella growth is minimized by regularly checking water quality parameters such as temperature, pH, and disinfectant levels.
    3. Follow your water management program, document activities, and promptly intervene when problems arise.

 

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact WCID 17 for further guidance at 512-266-1111.

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