Danger could lurk in plumbing of closed buildings

Monday, April 27, 2020 - 12:15pm

Madison Water Utility and Public Health Madison & Dane County are warning people about the danger of stagnant water in buildings that have been closed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Water in plumbing that has been sitting stagnant for weeks could be a breeding ground for bacteria and potential pathogens like Legionella.

Buildings across the city and state have been at reduced capacity or closed as people stay home to limit the spread of the virus. Now, some businesses are starting to re-open under the Governor’s new Safer at Home Order guidelines. But it’s crucial that people pay attention to their plumbing and make sure the water is safe.

Public Health has put together a guide to help businesses and other buildings re-open safely. Stagnant water will have to be flushed from both the hot and cold water systems in a building to get fresh, chlorinated water in. Since the Governor issued the first Safer at Home Order late last month, commercial water use in Madison has dropped by about 40 percent.

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COVID-19