Health and wealth: what you need to know about reopening

There are two big things to think about as you open up your business again: health and wealth.

  1. Health—follow these simple steps to flush through your system properly to prevent the spread of diseases like Legionnaire's

  2. Wealth—make sure your bills are as accurate as possible by sending regular meter readings

1. Flushing through your supply

For many businesses, water usage has dramatically reduced over the last few months, meaning water in the system will have been stagnant for some time.

The longer water is in pipes, the more chance it has of picking up harmful substances, or bacteria like Legionella spreading.

Note- Legionnaires disease is caused by breathing in contaminated droplets of water. Therefore, whoever flushes the system should take appropriate caution, use PPE, and minimise aerosol generation to limit the risk of them breathing in potentially contaminated droplets in the air. For example, remove shower heads before flushing.

If your water supply comes from a tank or storage cistern, this could be stagnated. Therefore, we recommend emptying and disinfecting the tank before re-filling it from the incoming supply. You may need advice from a plumber to do this. You can find an approved local plumber at WaterSafe | Local Approved Plumbers.

The general steps for flushing through your water pipes:

  1. Try to work out where the fresh water enters your building.

  2. Start with the tap nearest to where the fresh water enters the building, and run each tap in turn until the water is clear and feels cool

  3. Systematically go through the taps in the building, moving further away from where the water enters

  4. Ensure appliances are flushed before use according to the instruction manual

  5. If you have any internal filters of water softeners, check these in line with the instruction manual

Larger, more complex systems may need a more complex flushing process. If you need advice from a plumber, you can find one at WaterSafe | Local Approved Plumbers, or you can find a water hygiene expert at Legionella Control - Code of Conduct for Service Providers.

2. Taking regular meter readings

With the rollercoaster of closures and re-openings this last year has seen, your consumption will likely have seen huge variations. Therefore as you open up, it'll benefit your bank balance in the long-run to send us regular meter readings, so we can ensure you're bills are as accurate as possible. If you send us monthly reads a week before your bill date, we can make sure they're included in that month's bill.

Watch our video if you're not sure how to read your meter, and then submit your reading on our website here.

To ensure you've covered all bases, download our COVID-19 reopening risk assessment checklist.

Wishing you all the best as you reopen!