Guidance for Reopening After Shutdown or Limited Operation


It’s been a little over a year since the Coronavirus pandemic altered the presumable course of human history. Currently, 1 in 4 Californians are fully vaccinated and many businesses are seeking to reopen after several months of being either closed or at extremely limited capacity. Months ago the Center for Disease Control and Prevention published a guideline on ways for businesses to protect against potential harmful pathogens in their water supply. Here are a few takeaways.

Long periods of minimal or no water use can cause pipes to corrode. This can create high levels of lead or other metals within the building’s drinking water. Potential lead exposure is a very serious concern for the health of children. It can cause severe damage to the brain and nervous system. This damage can create learning and behavioral problems as well as a host of other issues.

Another issue that many businesses may be facing due to the shutdown is stagnant or standing water in their plumbing system. When water is stagnant the hot water temperatures can lower to 77-108 degrees Fahrenheit which is prime for “Legionella” growth. Water contaminated with such bacteria can lead to Legionnaires’s disease which is a form of “walking pneumonia.” Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pains, and headaches.

Five CDC Steps to Minimize Mold After Shutdown

There are many potential health risks that stem from reopening a business after several months of closure. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to take the proper steps to ensure that their plumbing is free from contamination and bacteria. For a more in-depth guideline on what steps to take when reopening a business after several months of closure or extremely limited capacity please visit the CDC’s website.

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