Considerations for large building water quality after extended stagnation

Caitlin R. Proctor, William J. Rhoads, Tim Keane, Maryam Salehi, Kerry Hamilton, Kelsey J. Pieper, David M. Cwiertny, Michele Prévost, Andrew J. Whelton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The unprecedented number of building closures related to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is concerning because water stagnation will occur in many buildings that do not have water management plans in place. Stagnant water can have chemical and microbiological contaminants that pose potential health risks to occupants. Health officials, building owners, utilities, and other entities are rapidly developing guidance to address this issue, but the scope, applicability, and details included in the guidance vary widely. To provide a primer of large building water system preventative and remedial strategies, peer-reviewed, government, industry, and nonprofit literature relevant to water stagnation and decontamination practices for plumbing was synthesized. Preventative practices to help avoid the need for recommissioning (e.g., routine flushing) and specific actions, challenges, and limitations associated with recommissioning were identified and characterized. Considerations for worker and occupant safety were also indicated. The intended audience of this work includes organizations developing guidance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1186
JournalAWWA Water Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020


  • COVID-19
  • SARS
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • advisory
  • building
  • coronavirus
  • customer
  • disaster
  • disinfection
  • flushing
  • health risk
  • plumbing
  • recommissioning
  • stagnation
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Filtration and Separation


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