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Corona DWP: Water flushing for businesses after long periods with no usage

Post Date:05/08/2020 3:00 PM

Water flushing for businesses after long periods with no usage as the state and county issue orders for reopening 

The Department of Water and Power (DWP) adds an ammonium hydroxide solution to the disinfected water which in conjunction with sodium hypochlorite forms a compound called chloramines. This chemical acts as a disinfectant in the distribution system and remains active for a longer period of time than sodium hypochlorite alone. 

Although chloramines create a longer lasting residual, the City of Corona recommends that when businesses reopen after an extended period of disconnection or lack of use (e.g., weeks or months), the property owner, business owner or property management should be present to ensure that any leaks are identified and repaired, sewer piping is intact, the hot water system is operational and flushed and the building’s plumbing system is flushed.

Flushing will vary depending on the structure.  However, key elements of existing protocols include:

1.    Remove or bypass devices like point-of-entry treatment units prior to flushing. (i.e. water softeners, reverse osmosis systems, granular activated carbon filters, etc.)
2.    Take steps to prevent backflow or the siphoning of contaminants into plumbing (e.g., close valves separating irrigation systems from building plumbing, disconnect hoses attached to faucets, etc.)
3.    Organize flushing to maximize the flow of water (e.g. opening all outlets simultaneously to flush the service line and then flushing outlets individually starting near where the water enters the structure).
4.    Run enough water through all outlets (e.g., hose bibs, faucets, showerheads, toilets, etc.), removing aerators when possible.  Typical durations range from 10 to 30 minutes for each outlet (duration varies based on the velocity of water at the outlet).
5.    Flush the hot water heater by following the general instructions below.  For specific instructions, consult your user’s manual or look on the manufacturer’s website.

A.     Turn the gas valve to “pilot.”

B.     Hook up a garden hose to the water heater and find a proper location to drain the water; use caution – water will be hot when it comes out.

C.     Open the valve until all of the hot water has drained from the water heater.

D.    Close the valve where the garden hose is hooked up.

E.     Allow the heater to fill up, and then close the cold-water supply on top of the water heater.

F.     Open up the hose bib again and let it drain.

G.    Repeat the cycle a couple of times.

H.    Disconnect the garden hose, turn the water supply back on and turn the gas valve to the “on” position.

6.    Flush the cold-water lines first, and then the hot water lines. 
7.    Replace all point-of-use filters, including the filter in refrigerators.  

For more information, please call 951-736-2234 and ask to speak with a member of the Water Resources Team. 

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