While we have all been quarantined at home, the buildings we normally occupy for business have sat empty. Buildings that have been shut down or used less frequently during this pandemic have the potential for water quality degradation from stagnation, an issue separate from the COVID-19 crisis.
Stagnant or standing water can cause conditions that increase the risk for growth and spread of Legionella and other biofilm-associated bacteria. It also can lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, such as chlorine, in the water system. Unlike the coronavirus, you cannot simply quarantine the system for a few days to make it safe. The longer that systems are idle, the more likely that these issues can occur.
We all want to get back to work, but to assure the occupants of your building that it is safe to return, we recommend your entire building is flushed properly. We have established a comprehensive water management program following recommendations of the CDC as well as relevant ASHRAE standards. This includes flushing of all appliances like ice machines, dishwashers, and water coolers while wearing the appropriate protective equipment. We can inspect mechanical equipment such as cooling towers, boilers, pumps, backflow preventers, and hot water systems.
After flushing, water samples should be taken for analysis to a qualified independent testing laboratory. If test results indicate the need for disinfection, possible chlorination of your water systems can be done, but it must be done correctly to avoid further issues.
Afterward, a water quality safety plan will protect the long-term security of your employees and visitors for the foreseeable future. We recommend this service to any building that has been dormant during the quarantine.
In addition, after disinfecting a building, it is equally important to change all the air filters. One of the processes for cleaning includes a “fog” of the building. The smell may carry over for many weeks, but changing the filters can clear the residual disinfectant from the airstream. You may also want to consider having every RTU and AHU cleaned before the building reopens. This can include spraying the interior with a bleach solution and wiping down, changing filters and bagging, and properly disposing of all materials.
If you are in need of service for your building, please contact us by calling
(775) 828-4193 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.