Experts: Flush pipes in buildings that have been vacant

("Faucet" by Joe Shlabotnik, CC BY 2.0)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Experts say Indiana building owners should flush out water pipes before reopening to the public because harmful bacteria and other material may be present.

The Indianapolis Star reports that Indiana State Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Management have both issued guidance on properly flushing water systems as retail businesses reopen following closures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Properties could be hosting bacteria such as Legionella, or lead or copper, which are poisonous to humans. Flushing water lines involves opening up taps for an extended period.  But different agencies have provided conflicting directions, confusing property owners about the process.