As economy restarts, consider flushing unused water pipes

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WILMINGTON — As the local economy reopens, the Wilmington Water Department reminds residents that water pipes need to be flushed in buildings that have gone unused more than two weeks.

“As water becomes stagnant in plumbing, different types of contamination can occur,” said Public Works Director Rick Schaffer. “Whether it’s a home or a business, all plumbing needs to be thoroughly flushed to ensure water quality.”

1. Flush the cold water first, starting at the bottom floor and moving up in the structure until all faucets, including tubs and showers, are turned on.

2. Let water run until the water is clear and the temperature has stopped changing at the last faucet turned on. If unsure of the temperature change, flush for at least 30 minutes.

3. Turn off the first faucet that had been turned on and continue turning off faucets in the order they were turned on.

4. Repeat the same steps for the hot water. Follow manufacturer instructions for flushing water heaters.

Aerators that can be removed from faucets should also be cleaned using vinegar.

Further instructions are available on-line at .

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