Fact Sheet: Utilities and Building Managers Must Take Steps to Protect Public Health Before Reopening Buildings

June 5, 2020, Oakland, California — After a long period of shutdown, stagnant water can pose risks to health if not carefully managed. These risks include growth of bacteria including Legionella (the cause of Legionnaires’ disease) and the leaching of lead and other metals from pipes and plumbing.

As society begins to slowly reemerge from quarantines, stay-at-home orders, and business shutdowns during the pandemic, we must take action to avert these risks. “Reopening Buildings After Shutdowns: Reducing Water-Related Health Risks” summarizes the risks of prolonged water shutoffs and offers urgent recommendations and resources for workers, building managers, and water managers to address the risks.

“As we reopen our economy from stay-at-home, quarantine, and shutdown orders, we must take care to protect our water supplies and public health,” says author Dr. Peter Gleick. “In particular, buildings that have been shut down for extended periods must take actions to ensure that no stagnant water remains and poses threats to the health of their occupants. This fact sheet offers key information and guidance around the safe reopening of facilities for utilities, building owners, and managers.”

Learn more and download the fact sheet here