Advisory on Flushing Programs for Institutional, Commercial Customers

Important Flushing Advisory for Re-Opening

The Springfield Water and Sewer Commission delivers treated drinking water through its distribution system in Springfield and Ludlow. Building owners are responsible for maintaining water quality once water has passed into a building from the water main into the street.

Standing or stagnant water due to building closures increase the potential for the leaching of lead and copper into drinking water, and and the spread of Legionella pneumophila, which causes Legionnaire’s disease, a serious respiratory illness. As the state moves through its reopening phases, the Commission is advising its institutional and commercial customers of proactive measures that should be taken prior to reopening to ensure the safety of building occupants.

Flushing a building’s plumbing and its various water-using fixtures and appliances (such as ice machines, hot tubs, hot water heaters, sprinklers, eye-wash stations, etc.) is an effective way to improve water quality within a building’s plumbing. Proper personal protective equipment should be worn while flushing to prevent the inhalation of Legionella pneumophila.  There are many other details involved in properly flushing a building’s plumbing, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and other government agencies have provided resources for building owners to assist in their flushing plans:

Fact Sheet on Flushing (MassDEP)

Detailed Instructions on Building Flushing (MassDEP)

Lead and Copper Best Practices (MassDEP)

Water Management Program Toolkit to Reduce Legionella (CDC)

Maintaining or Restoring Water Quality in Buildings With Low or No Use (EPA)

Restoring Water Quality for Building Reopening Checklist (EPA)