Flushing Guidelines After Period of Inactivity



Due to COVID-19 related circumstances, it is possible that your facility has been closed for an extended period. To protect the health and safety of our community, Ridgewood Water would like to provide you with instructions on how to implement a flushing protocol to eliminate bacteriological buildup or metal scaling in pipe walls. Establishing a flushing protocol is especially important before employees, visitors, etc. return to your facility.

NOTE: After flushing, water filters (if utilized) will most likely need to be replaced throughout the facility. This will apply to point of entry (POE) treatment (softeners/filters), as well as point of use filters for water coolers, drinking water fountains, sink faucets, etc. In addition, discoloration or unpleasant smells may occur during this protocol. The POE is where the water system begins in your building and is located at the water meter. Please consult with your filter manufacturer or service company on the proper procedures for filter replacement.

Please follow these instructions in the order that is provided below. Before moving on to the next step, confirm that each step is completed.

1. Flush all hot water taps. Start with the location that is furthest from the point of entry and work backwards until you reach the POE.

It is important to flush ALL hot water taps to ensure that the hot water heater is completely flushed-out after water has been sitting stagnant for an extended period. This includes bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, hot water fixtures, etc. Start at the furthest location from the POE as this will allow water to flow through your entire system. After flushing, close off the furthest location first and begin to work backwards until you are at the POE again.

2. Flush all cold water taps. Start with the location that is furthest from the point of entry and work backwards until you reach the POE.

It is important to flush ALL cold water taps to ensure that pipe scaling and bacteriological buildup is fully removed from pipe walls. This includes all bathroom sinks, kitchen sinks, cold water fixtures, and toilets. It is recommended that all toilets are to be flushed at least once. The same theory of working from the furthest location back to the POE applies here as well.

3. Flush all remaining appliances and faucets that were not included above. This includes dishwashers, icemakers, water filters, water softeners, etc.

Since building sizes and their distance from the water main vary, please consult your facility engineer or building manager to ensure that this protocol applies to you and for how long to flush each fixture. Follow up flushing may be required for your specific facility based on its size.

Should you have any questions, please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call our Treatment Division at (201) 670-5526.