The purpose of this procedure is to have a checklist for restoring water service to campus buildings that have had low or no water use for an extended period of time. These buildings are described as, but not limited to, being in hibernation, mothballed, or other, that will be significantly expanding water usage.
Buildings that have been closed or partially used for weeks or months result in reduced water usage leading to stagnant water inside the building's plumbing. Stagnant water can contribute to lead and microbial exposure risks. Therefore, it is important to flush building plumbing systems to restore water quality before staff and students return. To establish a maintenance program that keeps the water moving to all outlets during partial occupancy. Flushing is defined as replacing old water with fresh water in a two-step method and is relatively easy to do. This checklist provides a summary or steps to restore and maintain water quality in school and child care buildings. Detailed flushing information can be found below or at Michigan.gov/SchoolWater.
- Prepare for flushing (to restore water quality and prepare for the return of staff and students)
- Communicate with building staff about the status of the water system and the flushing program. If possible, the building coordinator should be contacted before flushing and again once completed.
- Determine the number of employees needed to assist with flushing. An employee must remain present during the flushing process to watch for backups in the system that may cause water damage to the building.
- Inspect the plumbing to ensure it is functioning properly and is in good condition.
- Make sure all drains are properly functioning and drain traps filled.
- Remove faucet aerators where possible.
- Remove point-of-use filters. This includes drinking fountain filters and ice machine filters. Remove all ice from ice makers and refrigerators.
- Bring fresh water into the building by flushing the service line where it enters the building.
- Flush softener(s) and hot water tank(s) per manufacturers recommendations.
- Flush the cold water plumbing zones with fresh water (flush all water outlets including toilets and hand sinks in each zone).
- Once flushing is completed, replace all filters at filter stations, faucet mount or under sink filters, any pitcher style filters, and appliances in the building regardless of installation date.
- Clean and replace aerators and screens.
- Sample and test outlets dedicated for drinking or cooking purposes during flushing. Use rapid "free chlorine" test strips to determine when flushing has adequately reach the potable locations.
Once flushing has been completed. Complete the work order and include the completed checklist. If possible, contact the building coordinator to notify them of the completion of the flushing. Notify management if flushing was not fully completed for some reason (free chlorine did not reach potable drinking areas).