May 12th, 2020

Reactivating water systems after prolonged shutdown

While the coronavirus (COVID-19) is not found in drinking water, other contaminants can build-up in water systems that remain unused for prolonged periods of time. The potential degradation of water quality results in part because the chlorine disinfectant dissipates as the water ages and may become “stale”. To help protect against these possible contaminants, Morgantown Utility Board offers these tips for proper water system restarts.

Begin by ensuring the water heater is set to at least 120°F. Next, flush the water system. Turn on the cold water and let it run for five to 10 minutes then do the same for the hot water, after allowing the hot water to reach maximum temperature. This should be done for every tap starting at the lowest tap in the structure or residence and working upward to the highest. This includes items such as sinks, showers, ice makers, dishwashers, and refrigerator water dispensers. The goal is to purge the aged water completely from the plumbing system, and to replace it with fresh water.

After flushing, clean water fixtures such as sinks, bathtubs, fountains and hot tubs in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. Doing so helps eliminate any contaminants that may have been released during flushing.

Additional information is available via the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at or by clicking here.