26 September 2023

Water warning for re-opening offices

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The State’s Plumbing Regulator is urging owners and managers of buildings that have been unoccupied for the COVID pandemic to ensure that their buildings’ hot and cold water services are thoroughly flushed before using to avoid potentially hazardous stagnation.

Building and Energy is supporting an advisory note issued by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB), which warns that water quality could change if it has been dormant in pipes for lengthy periods.

Executive Director of Building and Energy, Saj Abdoolakhan said that without the usual flow of fresh water from regularly-used taps and appliances, there could be a build-up of microorganisms such as Legionella and heavy metals from possible pipe corrosion.

“You may notice signs of stagnation such as discolouration or a bad smell or taste from the water,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

“Even if the water seems clear, flushing is recommended if the system hasn’t been regularly used for an extended period,” he said.

“The ABCB advisory note provides an example procedure for flushing water through all points of use, such as taps, showers and toilets, before reopening a premises, with the aim of replacing all water inside the building’s piping with fresh water.”

He said filters should also be cleaned or replaced, while appliances connected to the water system, such as dishwashers, could be flushed individually.

“If you have any concerns about the flushing process, or the quality of your water supply or plumbing fittings, contact a licensed plumbing contractor,” Mr Abdoolakhan said.

The ABCB’s 4-page advisory note can be accessed at this PS News link.

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