News Release: Vacant Commercial Buildings Should Flush Plumbing Systems to Restore Water Quality

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Town of Leesburg, Virginia
News Release

For Immediate Release
May 6, 2020

Media Contact:
Betsy Arnett, Public Information Officer

Vacant Commercial Buildings Should Flush Plumbing Systems to Restore Water Quality

Stagnant water can lead to bacteria growth.

Leesburg, VA (May 6, 2020) – An unintended consequence of the business shut-downs due to the coronavirus pandemic is water stagnation and the potential for the growth of bacteria, such as Legionella, in the buildings’ water lines. Any building that has been closed, or has had limited water usage, for a week or longer, including office buildings, restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, churches, and day care centers, could experience a decline in water quality.

“When water sits unused in a building’s plumbing system, the disinfectants that we add during the treatment process degrade,” explains Russell Chambers, the manager of Leesburg’s Kenneth Rollins Water Filtration Plant. “In order to restore water quality, building owners need to flush the old water out of the plumbing lines and replace it with fresh water from our distribution system.”

The Town of Leesburg Utilities Department advises all commercial building owners and tenants to flush their plumbing systems if their building has been closed or has had low water usage for a week or longer. Ideally, a building’s plumbing should be flushed once a week while closed or having low usage.

Complete information about flushing a building’s plumbing systems is available on the Town of Leesburg website at

Customers with questions about their water usage and the need to flush their buildings should contact the Leesburg Utilities Department at