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KC Water urges businesses to flush water lines as they reopen

KC Water
Posted at 7:21 AM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 08:21:11-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Some businesses have been sitting vacant for several weeks now, which could cause issues, especially for the water system.

It's one of the reasons KC Water wants businesses to flush their water lines as they reopen.

"It’s been sitting in a pipe and it’s not been used - it means also that it could possibly be cloudy, it could possibly have a slight odor and, or it could possibly be discolored some," KC Water utilities superintendent, Jeffrey Haskins said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that stagnant water can increase the growth of certain bacteria and can also lead to low or undetectable levels of disinfectant, like chlorine.

Haskins said that's why it's important to flush your lines down so that fresh water can flow through.

"It needs to be done until the water runs clear or temperature changes," Haskins said. "The temperature should change to a slight colder temperature because it’s coming out of the water main, which is below ground."

KC Water mentioned these steps to follow:

  1. Make sure all faucets in the building flow to a drain. If there are any water filters, remove or bypass them.
  2. For best results, it is recommended that all aerators and screens are removed from every faucet being flushed.
  3. Using the cold-water handles, turn on all faucets – including kitchen and bathroom sinks, utility and mop sinks, bathtub and shower, etc. – and allow them to run during the entirety of the flushing process.
  • Start with the lowest floor of the home. If the home has a basement, start there.
  • Move to the next highest floor and turn on all faucets.
  • Continue until all faucets are turned on in the structure.
  1. At the end of the process, water should be flowing from all the faucets in the building at the same time.
  2. Let the water run until the temperature changes.
  3. Repeat steps 3-5 using the hot-water taps.
  4. Replace any filters and reinstall any aerators and screens that were removed.

KC Water is also urging people not to flush down wipes, because they don't break down in water.

Earlier this week, a manhole was blocked by wipes. More than 1,400 gallons of wastewater spilled into a drainage ditch, which led into the Little Blue River. As a result, KC Water crews had to remove the wipes and restore the normal flow.

If you are experiencing further issues, call 311.