Reopening Your Business – Water Quality in Building Plumbing

As businesses prepare for their upcoming re-openings, City of The Dalles is providing this information to help business owners receive the freshest, highest quality drinking water possible.

If your place of business has had low or no occupancy for several weeks then it is likely that water has stagnated in your building pipes. Stagnant water may or may not taste different or be discolored. But long periods of low or no water use in buildings allows bacteria to grow because fresh, chlorinated water has not been flowing through the plumbing system.

The City recommends that owners/operators of commercial buildings flush out the building’s water system with fresh water from City water mains before reopening for business. The stale water that is flushed from your pipes can often be used for cleaning purposes such as mopping.

5 Steps to make your building drinking water safe:

  1. Remove aerators, pre-rinse spray valves, and showerheads before flushing stale water from the pipes.
  2. Run cold water from all fully opened faucets in the building for at least 5 minutes. Large buildings may need to be flushed for a longer period of time. When fresh water has filled your building’s pipes, replace aerators, valves and showerheads.
  3. Change all water filters. Filters can be found on your tap and in appliances.
  4. After filters are changed, run water coolers, drinking fountains and refrigerator taps connected to the tap water supply for at least 5 minutes.
  5. If you have an automatic ice maker: Make three batches of ice cubes and throw away all three batches.

The City is committed to providing safe drinking water to your meter. Please do your part to make sure that only fresh City water flows from your taps. You can read the City’s most recent water quality report at

You can also view a flyer about reopening building water systems from the Oregon Health Authority Drinking Water Services at

If the water from your tap does not run clear after several minutes of flushing, please contact the Public Works office at 541-296-5401.