Water  |  22 Apr 2020

Christchurch City Council is reminding people returning to business premises soon to run taps and to flush toilets so pipes can refill with fresh water.

Under the Government’s Covid-19 Alert Level 3, businesses can open premises for trading from next Tuesday but cannot physically interact with customers.

Head of Three Waters and Waste Helen Beaumont says the Council has been continuing to test the city’s drinking-water supply network throughout the lockdown period to make sure the water is safe for residents.

“People returning to business premises should run all indoor and outdoor taps for at least two minutes and flush all toilets. This removes the stagnant water that has been sitting in the pipes during lockdown and brings in fresh, clean water from the street mains.

“Remove tap aerators, point-of-use filters and shower hoses where possible, as this will allow the water flow rate to be faster and limit the amount of sediment trapped by these fixtures.

“Where the pipes on a premises are made of galvanized steel, people may notice some temporarily discoloured water coming from their taps, so keep running the water to clear it.”

Ms Beaumont says it is not unusual for bathrooms, laundries or kitchens to have an odd smell if a building has been vacant for some time.

“Sometimes water sitting in plumbing fixtures and traps can create a smell, particularly if a building has been closed up for weeks. We encourage people to open windows, run taps and to flush toilets first, to check whether that solves the problem. At the same time, it’s also a good opportunity to check for any leaks, both inside and outside the building.

“If the building has floor drains, pour water into the drain to make sure the trap’s water seal is fully restored, in order to keep sewer gases from entering the building.”