When it comes to taking protective measures against COVID-19, the best way is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The CDC says the virus is spread primarily person to person through droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze in close proximity to another person. But it has also been acknowledged that someone can become infected after touching a contaminated surface and then touching their nose, eyes or mouth. Studies have shown that coronavirus can survive on a surface for hours or days depending on the surface type. This is why it is extremely important to mitigate bacteria build up during Covid. Constantly washing surfaces around the home, and washing your hands, and safely social distancing. But what about the build up of bacteria in our water systems because of Covid and the lockdown?
Water System Bacteria Build Up Due to Covid
Think about all of the businesses and buildings in the US that shut down due to the recent pandemic. Was anyone maintaining those buildings? Probably not, because we all had to be at home quarantining for most of the lockdown. So as lockdown across the US lifts, there are new hazards lurking in our water system in idle buildings all around us. Dormant plumbing in gyms, schools, offices etc, is showing a potential secondary health risk. With unmoving water in heavy metals pipes, bacteria and parasites had an opportunity to grow throughout the months our country was shut down. The longer the buildings sat unused, the more time bacteria had to grow inside the pipes, which means there was more potential for harm.
How to Mitigate This
To mitigate this, the best way would be to have someone checking in and running taps in buildings and homes throughout the period of the lockdown. This is the most common practice for a period of dormancy like this. Running the taps for a long period of time to try to flush all of the stagnant water out the existing system. This goes for large hotels, office buildings, and even residential homes. If your family decided to spend the lockdown somewhere besides your everyday home, there was a potential for bacteria to build up in the stagnant water, so this is extremely important. Or, if your building is about to reopen after the lockdown make sure you plan at least two weeks in advance to allow yourself time for flushing and testing before customers or residents begin to return. Flushing water systems can be timely and expensive, so to mitigate this throughout Covid, it is very important to flush and run water taps regularly and start to plan a water-management plan.
During these times where we have become more aware of bacteria and Covid-19, it is extremely important to be continuously mitigating the spread. Bacteria build up is all around us, not just with Covid, but with other common colds as well. There are multiple steps we can continuously take to mitigate bacteria build up in our everyday lives. Even as simple as wiping down counters, washing our hands or as complicated as flushing the pipes of an entire building, it is important for all of us to stay healthy!