Nationwide, with specific incidents in Michigan, Rhode Island and Utah, buildings subjected to reduced utilization during COVID have shown a deterioration in water quality when returning to pre-pandemic schedules. This decline in quality has been traced to stagnant water in the buildings. Recent testing by RETEGO® Labs has confirmed dangerously high bacterial levels (10 to the sixth power cfu/mL, gross contamination) within building plumbing systems.
Although certain bacteria are always present in municipal water, they are typically controlled by the residual chlorine in the city’s distribution system. In unused and under-used buildings, stagnant organic material and bacteria can rapidly overcome residual chlorine and allow the growth of biofilm that harbors pathogens. At this level of contamination, simply flushing the piping may not be sufficient and if not addressed, threatens the health and safety of people.
Last summer, in anticipation of re-opening the economy, US EPA and the CDC issued the following guidance for all properties affected by the shutdown: “Building and business closures for weeks or months reduce water usage, potentially leading to stagnant water inside building plumbing. This water can become unsafe to drink or otherwise use for domestic or commercial purposes. For example, optimal growth conditions for undesirable pathogens, such as Legionella bacteria, can occur…”
“We strongly advise all property owners, managers and concerned parties to familiarize themselves with the national guidelines and take immediate steps towards controlling the bacterial biofilm levels in their buildings,” stated Les Merrill, CEO for Retego Labs. “Proactive testing along with smart treatment can avoid a potential disaster.”
Retego Labs now has an affordable Test Kit for rapid testing for Legionella risk and water safety at the faucet, drinking fountain, water heater, HVAC or other premise plumbing outlets. To order kits, contact the company by email [email protected] or phone, (801) 209-5460, or visit the website for more information.