EXPERTS: Keep Flushing During the Pandemic




Protecting the integrity of water lines and moving water in them to prevent stagnation is critical

In these uncertain times, protecting the integrity of water lines, and moving water in them to prevent stagnation, is critical, particularly in schools and manufacturing plants that are experiencing reduced and interrupted water usage during the pandemic

With most schools closed for the remainder of the school year due to COVID-19 protocols, drinking water in the pipes of these buildings is stagnating.  Stagnant water leads to a loss of chlorine and a buildup of sediment resulting in bacterial growth and aging of water that can also affect the taste, smell and color of the water. As temperatures rise as we head into the summer, so does the opportunity for biofilm growth in water lines. These common conditions can lead to waterborne illness and should be addressed before the schools reopen.

Many manufacturing facilities are also operating with reduced staff size due to COVID-19 protocols, giving cause for concern of stagnating water.  Industrial sites are often equipped with plumbed eye wash stations and safety showers for the protection of their employees.  When an accident happens and an employee gets harmful chemicals in her or his eyes, it is critical that they flush their eyes immediately with clean water that is free of rust and other compounds that naturally leach into stagnant water.

There is a simple inexpensive solution to reducing the risk of waterborne illness that is quick and easy to install today, but moreover will protect facilities in the long run. Installing a reliable, automatic solution, like the Hydro-Guard Industrial Flushing System, ensure water is thrust through the system at a velocity to eliminate stagnant water. Industrial units are designed specifically for small-sized water lines and can be installed both indoor and out of doors. It can be used to deliver tepid water-to-eye wash or safety shower stations, or to deliver cooler water to temperature sensitive applications in a manufacturing plant.

These units can be set to flush automatically which reduces operational costs by using less water to flush the lines more frequently, bringing a higher degree of consistency to the flushing effort.  Flushing can occur without the need to manually operate faucets, valves or hose bibs, ensuring flushing occurs when it is best for the facility, not when staff can get around to it. With reduced water usage and operational efficiencies, these devices have the ability to give a return on investment within one year.

Most utilities have flushing programs to ensure safe drinking water for their customers.  It’s up to building owners and school officials to have processes in place that ensures water entering their plumbing systems maintains the highest degree of water quality.  Even these small industrial flushing units can be upgraded to have the more advanced system monitoring and management, like the utilities.   A “smart” water quality monitoring system will trigger flush events when pre-set levels of chlorine, temperature, pH, turbidity, flow and/or pressure is detected – further reducing the involvement of untrained professionals and increasing the protection of water quality.

Author: Harold Mosley

Click here to read the story in Water World Magazine