Businesses Should Flush Water Lines Before Reopening

May 02, 2020

OUC Provides Tips for Businesses Impacted By COVID-19

ORLANDO, Fla. – OUC—The Reliable One recommends flushing water lines before reopening any business that has been closed long-term during the COVID-19 pandemic. Best practices may vary for each type of establishment, including the length of time lines need to be flushed.

“It’s important to flush the lines of stagnant water inside a building’s plumbing system,” notes Brad Jewell, OUC’s Director of Water Production. “Sediment, which occurs naturally, may have settled inside pipes and can discolor water. While the color is unsettling, it only requires a few minutes of flushing, or letting the water run, to remove it.”

OUC proactively flushes water mains to avoid this issue; however, OUC does not flush privately-owned pipes beyond the water meter. Water pressure levels have remained constant in OUC’s water system during the pandemic, and OUC’s state-certified water lab has continued chemical and bacteriological water-quality tests, including tests for more than 135 regulated and unregulated substances like lead and copper.

To assist customers, OUC recommends the following: 

  • Flush your water pipes. Flush hot water lines at every tap for several minutes, then flush cold water lines at every tap for several minutes. Consider draining water heaters, then flushing the lines once the heating tank has re-filled.
    • Restaurants, in particular, should flush all kitchen lines, including sinks, dishwashers, ice makers and similar appliances. Restaurants should also consider emptying and re-filling ice makers and similar appliances that pull water directly from water taps.

Due to lack of water flow as a result of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, water pipes within buildings may need to be flushed after not being used for an extended period. Click here to learn more.

Should a business serviced by the utility have questions or need a plumber, OUC offers a Preferred Contractor Network.

To learn more about OUC’s safe and great tasting H2OUC, read the 2019 Water Quality Report.

About the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC)
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to more than 250,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties.