The Maine Water Co. is encouraging owners of buildings that have been vacant during the coronavirus shutdown to flush pipes to remove stagnant water and potential contaminants.

Building owners and property managers returning to buildings that have been vacant or infrequently used for several weeks should flush internal plumbing systems to get rid of water that has been sitting in pipes for an extended time and can become discolored, allow bacteria to grow or cause contaminants to leach from pipe materials.

“To avoid these concerns, it is highly recommended to flush the water through the system inside the property prior to resuming regular water use. This ensure that the water consumed is safe to use after the prolonged shutdown,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Water coming from the Maine Water system into buildings through the water main will be safe to drink, according to the company. The company provides water to about 32,000 customers in about 20 communities.

The company also recommends owners of residential properties that have been vacant flush cold water lines before using or consuming the tap water.

Most property owners can flush their buildings by running the taps for all points for roughly 10 minutes to replace all water inside the building’s piping with fresh water.

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