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Ensuring the Safety of Your Building Water System After a Prolonged Shutdown 

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While businesses remained closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the quality of water left sitting in private pipelines could have changed.  Water left sitting for long periods of time could contain unhealthy pathogens that are concentrated in pipes and create unsafe water conditions.  As stay-at-home orders are lifted and our customers reopen their businesses, Vista Irrigation District (District) would like to provide important safety information to ensure the water inside your business is safe for you, your employees and customers.  

The District’s comprehensive, 24-hour water quality monitoring has continued without interruption and District water remains safe. However, stagnant, or standing water inside customer pipelines can cause conditions that increase the risk for growth and spread of Legionella and other bacteria. Stagnant water can also lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, such as chlorine.  Ensure that your private water lines are safe to use after a prolonged shutdown to minimize the risk of diseases associated with water.

For your safety, the District recommends following the Centers for Disease Controls 8-Step protocol to ensure the safety of water in your building in preparation for the safe return of staff and customers. Below is a list of precautions building owners may take to ensure their buildings are safe and operational when occupants return:

  • Thoroughly flush your water pipelines to clear any stagnant water.
  • Clean all decorative water features, such as fountains.
  • Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and temperature is correctly set
  • Ensure hot tubs/spas are safe for use
  • Ensure cooling towers are clean and well-maintained
  • Ensure safety equipment including fire sprinkler systems, eye wash stations, and safety showers are clean and well-maintained

 For more detailed information and instructions to ensure water in your building is safe, go to the CDC’s website as well as the State Water Resources Control Board website.  You may contact the District Water Quality Department at (760) 597-3100 with any questions.

 Download Plumbing Safety Factsheet