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  • Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation

    Hillsborough, Fla. – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many buildings and other properties have been unoccupied for an extended period. When water is stagnant for an extended time, there can be a build-up of hazardous metals and bacteria such as Legionella, which can cause a serious threat to drinking water. Legionella can grow and multiply, and transmit through aerosolized water droplets.
     
    The water droplets can be transmitted through showerheads, hot tubs, sink faucets, centralized air-cooling systems, and large plumbing systems. Legionella can cause serious diseases and endanger the health of the community, especially vulnerable populations.
     
    Here are some tips to prevent Legionella from developing:

    • Develop a comprehensive water management program (WMP) for your water system and all devices that use water.

    • Ensure your water heater is properly maintained and the temperature is correctly set.

    • Flush your water system.

    • Clean all decorative water features, such as fountains.

    • Ensure hot tubs/spas are safe for use.

    • Ensure cooling towers are clean and well-maintained.

    • Ensure safety equipment including fire sprinkler systems, eye wash stations, and safety showers are clean and well-maintained.

    • Maintain your water system.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has Guidance for Reopening Buildings After Prolonged Shutdown or Reduced Operation.

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    Contact:
    Kevin Watler
    kevin.watler@flhealth.gov
    (813) 307-8044