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BPU Urges Businesses to Flush Water Lines before Reopening

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — As area businesses begin to reopen following the stay-at-home order, The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is alerting business owners to take precautions to retain water quality. Buildings that have been closed for more than a week should have service lines and internal plumbing completely flushed before people return, especially if buildings have had no or low occupancy.

When water isn’t being used regularly, the quality can change if the water remains stagnant after an extended period. Flushing hot and cold water lines helps decrease the risk of bacterial growth and replaces the water in the pipes with fresh, clean water. BPU recommends flushing water through your fixtures to ‘turn over’ the unused water and flow fresh water from the water main through your building’s plumbing.


  • Before reopening, run every tap, cold water first, then hot.

  • Flush every toilet.

  • Maintain any other appliance or system with a water connection, such as fire sprinklers, refrigerator filters, drinking fountains, coffee makers, or ice machines.

    • After flushing, if your building has an ice machine it should be emptied of remaining ice and any ice made within 24 hours.

The steps to flush building plumbing lines will vary based on plumbing configuration, property size, and number of faucets. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) offers the following guidance for flushing protocols to safely return to service.

If water lines can’t be flushed, remember to post warnings near all drinking water sources advising people not to drink the water. Business owners and operators are encouraged to review the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for additional information to ensure the safety of water systems after a prolonged shutdown.

At BPU, we’re constantly monitoring the water quality at our water treatment plant as well as testing regularly throughout our service area. This testing is done to ensure the water quality meets State and Federal guidelines. We recommend flushing your building’s plumbing to ensure you; your employees and customers are receiving fresh water straight from the water main and avoid using stale water that has been sitting unused for extended periods of time.

If you’lve refreshed the water in your building and still have concerns about water quality, call BPU at 913-573-9622 with any questions.


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Kansas City, KS 66101-2930
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