Kristen Zimmer

Reopening Your Business? Time to Refresh Your Water!

Kristen Zimmer, Conservation Coordinator, 509.625.6573

Friday, May 22, 2020 at 11:42 a.m.

Our community is excited to start to reopen and resume some activities as usual! Reestablishing some state of normalcy will be absolutely refreshing.

Speaking of refreshing, if your workplace has been empty for some time you’ll want to refresh your water and move the old, stagnant water out. As Spokane County prepares to reopen in stages, the Spokane Water Department is asking businesses to flush their internal plumbing systems prior to reopening to ensure a fresh water supply.

If your building has been mostly vacant for several weeks or longer, the water in your internal plumbing is stale from sitting idle. Unused water that has been sitting in pipes for extended periods may appear cloudy or have an unpleasant taste or odor. Depending on the building and its plumbing, Legionella and other hazards could also pose a health risk.

The Water Department recommends flushing water through your fixtures to “turn over” the unused water and flow fresh water from the water main through your building’s plumbing. Flushing is easy, just follow the steps below.



  • Run every tap - cold water first, then hot.
    • Locate the cold water faucet closest to where water enters the building.
    • Disconnect aerators and run cold water until it feels cool and fresh. Fresh water from the main will feel cooler than water that has been sitting in your building’s plumbing. It may take longer for fresh water to reach faucets in larger buildings.
    • Next, run the hot water at every tap until it gets fully hot. This will get fresh water into your building’s hot water lines. For this to be effective, flush hot water only after all cold taps have been flushed.
  • Flush every toilet, spas and water features to remove the old water from your building.
  • Maintain any other appliance or system with a water connection: ice machines, refrigerator filters, drinking fountains, dishwashers, kitchen sprayers, coffee makers, etc.
  • For larger, more complex buildings and facilities, follow the CDC’s guidance for preparing your plumbing before your workplace is re-occupied.

Providing our community with safe, reliable water is our highest priority, and we’re constantly monitoring and testing our water quality throughout the distribution system

We recommend flushing your building’s plumbing to ensure you are receiving fresh water straight from the water main, and avoid using stale water that has been sitting unused for extended periods of time. If you’ve flushed the water in your building and still have concerns about water quality, call the Water Department at 509-625-7800 with any questions.

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