Eastern Iowa businesses that have sat idly the last several weeks could encounter some unexpected hazards when they reopen.

The water division of the City of Cedar Rapids says due to reduced water flow, the quality of water could be compromised by bacteria that may have grown during the closures of buildings.

According to a media release from the city, the places where bacteria has the highest likelihood of growing are:

• Faucets, aerators and showerheads

• Drinking fountains/coolers

• Water filter systems

• Ice Machines

• Hot water heaters

• Eye-wash stations

• Hot tubs/Saunas

The city recommends a few steps to avoid issues:

1. Remove and replace filter cartridges for whole-house, premise, and point-of-use filter systems.

2. Remove screens and aerators from water faucets and clean them with a bleach solution. A 90/10 water to bleach solution, for instance. A one-minute soak should do the trick.

3. Flush cold water at each faucet for between two and five minutes and then replace aerators and screens.

If you're planning on draining and refilling hot water heaters, need ice machine maintenance, or want assistance in proper flushing, it's recommended you contact an experienced contractor.

The City of Cedar Rapids has released an entire toolkit for businesses reopening in the midst of COVID-19. The toolkit is available HERE.

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