Suez, which services the City of Laurel, is alerting businesses and homes that may have been closed for a month or more due to COVID-19 that a crucial part of reopening will be the flushing of their water pipes to ensure health and safety. According to the Environmental Science, Policy and Research Institute, “building water quality degradation becomes a silent but serious issue.”

While Suez continues to deliver water that meets or surpasses all safe drinking water standards, if a building, office or facility has been vacant or at low capacity during the health crisis, the portion of the service line the property owner is responsible for and water appliances found in buildings may now hold water that is of compromised quality. Subsequently, there is the potential for harmful bacteria to grow (that is unrelated to the coronavirus). When water sits for long periods, the water quality can be seriously affected and prolonged flushing is required to bring fresh, safe, treated water into the building or home’s pipes.

“Access to clean, safe drinking water at the tap has become even more critical during the health crisis. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization remind us that drinking water is safe, this is no longer the case for water that has been sitting for long periods of time in building service lines,” said Nadine Leslie, CEO of SUEZ North America. “We have never experienced such a prolonged period where businesses and some homes have been shuttered. It is now critical that water is flushed as the country begins to resume normal operations.”

Leslie further said chlorine is critical to water treatment as it is effective in removing bacteria and viruses. “Our goal is to ensure that our customers are using water that is safe and of the highest quality,” she said. “Flushing is an essential priority for building owners, facility and office managers, and cafeteria staff, as well as homeowners who have vacant residences. Safe chlorine levels should return once flushing is completed.”

For buildings, facilities or offices that have been vacant or at low capacity during the health crisis, these steps can help reduce water quality challenges as America returns to work.

If possible, during the work-from-home period, allow a small amount of water to run from office indoor faucets or spigots, especially if a workplace is vacant at this time. The running water will help maintain chlorine levels that keep water quality intact.

Suez encourages its customers to visit www.mysuezwater.com/backtobusiness or the company’s social media channels for the most up-to-date information.

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