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Covid-19 Design Guide: Reopening Buildings

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published an article on 8 Steps to take before opening your business. With many businesses and buildings being closed down for weeks if not months, there could be an opportunity for stagnant or standing water.  As a part of your building water management checklist, it is important to ensure a safe water system free from Legionella and other biofilm-associated bacteria. 

Additionally, this year the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and previously the World Health Organization (WHO) have also published their Recovering from Covid-19 Building closures and Recommendations for Recommissioning Buildings for Water Safetyguidance documents. We have taken cues from all 3 to bring you a complete, Building Closures Water Management Checklist.

After reading this checklist, sign up to request a Watts Webinar on, Guidelines for Recommissioning Plumbing Equipment and Best Practices for Water Quality Post COVID-19 Webinar.


Building water management checklist for reopening buildings:

Run Water Management Program

In order to safely open up a business, many facility managers will need to run their Water Management Program to reduce the risk of Legionnaire’s disease. As a future best practice, specifying and installing a digital mixing valve, like Watt’s Intellistation and Intellistation Jr, can make it easy for any facility manager to run sanitation mode and keep the water supply safe without being on-site. 

Maintain Water Heaters

The CDC also recommends that your water heater be properly maintained before people return to work. This includes checking with the maintenance guide from the manufacturer to determine if the hot water tanks should be drained or if the devices are equipped with an automatic Legionella prevention option which will heat the water to a temperature to kill off any harmful bacteria in the water. A.O Smith’s Icomm system makes it easy for any facility manager to run this procedure from their cell phone, as the water will be automatically heated to 65°C for at least 1 hour to eliminate the Legionella risk.


Another recommendation by the CDC is that you flush hot and cold water through all outlets including showers, faucets (in both the kitchen and bathroom), and follow the cleaning instructions for fixtures like drinking fountains, hot tubs, and emergency equipment. If your facility is equipped with Sloan Optima faucets, your facility manager can connect the Sloan Connect App which would make it easy to purge the line and run all the faucets from a remote location.

Maintain and Clean Cooling Tower

Lastly, it is important to ensure that if you have a cooling tower, it has been maintained.  It is important to ensure the tower and basin area are free from visible slime or biofilm before starting it up. If the system has been installed with Watts SmartStream® UV  this can make disinfecting the water easy.

Request a webinar with WATTS!

Guidelines for Recommissioning Plumbing Equipment and Best Practices for Water Quality Post COVID-19

Watts is offering a webinar listing the essential steps required to maintain water quality and the safety of plumbing system, as workplaces reopen after the Covid-19 outbreak.  Be prepared by learning about everything you need to know.

Next, read our guide for these focus areas.

Quick Fix For Workplaces Rapid Healthcare  Return to: Introduction to the Complete Covid-19 Design Guide

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