Coronavirus and Building Water Safety
WaterSense® recognizes that the Coronavirus pandemic presents challenges for all sectors of the economy, including owners and operators of commercial and institutional buildings. Building and business closures for weeks or months have reduced water usage, which can potentially lead to stagnant water inside building plumbing. This water can become unsafe to drink or otherwise use for domestic or commercial purposes.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently released information that public water systems, building owners, building managers, and businesses can use to minimize water stagnation during extended closures and to address building water quality. EPA recommends that building owners and managers take proactive steps to protect public health by minimizing water stagnation during closures and taking action to address building water quality prior to reopening. An information guide and checklist to assist interested parties are available at www.epa.gov/coronavirus/information-maintaining-or-restoring-water-quality-buildings-low-or-no-use. Additional information about EPA and federal resources to assist in COVID-19 response is available on the main Coronavirus webpage at www.epa.gov/coronavirus.
The ENERGY STAR® program is also planning to host a webinar in early June (tentatively the week of June 1) on maintaining and restoring water quality in buildings during the COVID-19 response. Check their calendar of upcoming training events for updates or to register for the May 27 WaterSense webinar “Just Add Water to Your Energy Efficiency Efforts.”
Although not related to Coronavirus, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released its report “Measurement Science Research Needs for Premise Plumbing Systems.” This report was prepared in response to a growing need to advance the state of modern and future premise plumbing systems and is intended to serve as a tool for any organization or institution that plans, administers, or executes research programs that influence premise plumbing systems. Learn more about the NIST effort and download a copy of the report at www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2020/05/nist-identifies-critical-needs-improved-plumbing.