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Businesses and Facilities Advised to Thoroughly Flush Water Lines Prior to Reopening

Post Date:05/21/2020 1:36 PM

Drinking water treated by the City is of the highest quality and will continue to be a safe and reliable source for all household and business use. The City’s water treatment processes are specifically designed to protect the public from all harmful bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19. However, business closures during the Shelter at Home Order may have temporary impacts on water quality. 

As part of its standard treatment process, the City adds a small amount of residual chlorine disinfectant to act as a quality safeguard as water travels throughout the community’s water distribution system.  If a building or facility experiences extended periods of low or no water use, the residual chlorine may diminish and cause water stagnation or growth of microorganisms. To remedy this issue and restore water quality, the City is advising businesses impacted by temporary closures to thoroughly flush water lines if they have significantly or completely reduced water use.  Flushing water lines and can easily be accomplished by turning on all fixtures and letting fresh water run through the system before consumption or delivery to customers. Consulting with a plumber or someone familiar with your property’s water system may be required to determine adequate flushing duration.

More information on how to manage your water system, along with other useful information to consider when buildings are left unoccupied for a period of time, can be found at the following website:

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Guidance for Building Water Systems

If your facility has been subject to reduced water demand and you would like further information, the City of San Luis Obispo Utilities Department can be reached by phone at (805) 781-7215.

For more information from the City’s response to COVID-19, please visit The City is committed to keeping our community informed.

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