Water Division Issues Guidance for Businesses Reopening

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA — The City of Cedar Rapids Water division wants businesses reopening after extended closures to be aware of potential hazards associated with reduced water flow in their buildings.

While COVID-19 has not been proven to be transmitted through water systems, the extended closures and low occupancy in many businesses and buildings due to COVID-19 could compromise water quality within these structures. Reentering and using water within these businesses will require some steps to restore water quality. During periods of stagnation and low use, water and moist environments can naturally promote bacterial growth, creating potential health risks.

Points susceptible to bacterial growth:

•Faucets, aerators and shower heads

•Drinking water fountains/coolers

•Water filter systems

•Ice Machines

•Hot water heaters

•Eye wash stations

•Hot tubs/Saunas

A systematic approach to restore quality water and reduce risk can be accomplished in a few steps. Contact an experienced contractor if you need assistance in proper flushing, draining/refilling hot water heaters, or ice machine maintenance. Follow all instructions provided with whole-house, premise, and point-of-use filtering systems:

1.Remove whole-house, premise, and point-of-use filter cartridges. Replace with new.

2.Remove aerators and screens from the end of water faucets and clean with a weak bleach solution such as 10% bleach in water. Soaking the aerator/screens and O rings in the weak bleach solution for one minute is sufficient.

3.Flush cold water for 2–5 minutes at each point of use.

4.Replace aerators and screens.

Find additional resources from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/building-water-system.html

This information is included in an updated Business Reopening Toolkit and on the FAQ for businesses available on the City’s website. The City’s business resources will continue to be updated as the situation develops. Visit the COVID-19 page at cedar-rapids.org for the most current information.

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