NJDEP is prompting building owners and businesses to take appropriate steps to prevent drinking water quality problems prior to re-entry into buildings after an emergency or other unforeseen challenge that resulted in low or no use. The internal plumbing system within individual buildings that serve drinking water to the public need to be restarted properly before consumption. Stagnant water can enable bacterial and/or pathogen growth and can cause unwanted contaminants (e.g., lead) to leach from pipe materials, all having the potential to cause significant health impacts.
NJDEP recommends “flushing” premise plumbing by opening taps or faucets and systematically letting the water run to remove water that has been standing in the interior pipes and/or outlets.
Best practices including flushing may vary for each type of establishment, its configuration, plumbing components, number of outlets and length of water lines. NJDEP recommends hiring a licensed plumber or operator when necessary for assistance in determining the volume of water associated with your plumbing components (e.g., lengths and diameters of piping) and the rate of water flow from a tap or faucet in determining appropriate flushing times. General guidelines are outlined below.