Kentucky American urges flushing of pipes in large buildings

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Water faucet flushing

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky American Water recommends large building operators flush pipes to maintain water quality during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Extended periods of inactivity in buildings can cause lead leaching or legionella growth in water pipes and taking proper steps can help minimize potential exposure to both these contaminants.

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As buildings reopen, businesses, school districts and property management teams will begin the process of restarting building systems that have been dormant for a significant amount of time. These reopening procedures will help in making sure water systems and equipment are in working order.

Kentucky American Water encourages large building owners and operators to adopt a proactive approach that includes proper flushing procedures, assuring the presence of disinfectant residuals, adjustment of hot water temperature, and proper maintenance of building plumbing and heating/cooling systems.

Proper flushing of plumbing before reoccupying these buildings is essential to maintain water quality and should be performed biweekly while the building is closed and, if possible, again the weekend before opening.

Consistent with EPA and industry guidance, Kentucky American Water recommends the flushing of pipes to maintain water quality, including:

  • Toilets: At least twice (this will help to move fresh water through the plumbing)
  • Faucets: Run at full flow for at least 2 minutes
  • Showers: Run at full flow for at least 2 minutes
  • Other Appliances/Apparatus: We recommend flushing other appliances and apparatus thoroughly, at full flow, bringing fresh water into the system. Preferably run the water until you are able to smell the chlorine in the water. If you have an appliance such as a refrigerator or ice maker that has a filter, upon completion of flushing, follow manufacturer’s instructions for replacing water filters.

For additional information on flushing you can go to American Water’s fact sheet; the Environmental Protection Agency’s Flushing Best Practices; the Center for Disease Control web page; or the American Water Works Association.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.