water from faucet in hand

District urges businesses to flush water lines before reopening

On April 26, Governor Polis issued the “safer at home” executive order. This order allows the gradual reopening of businesses if social distancing guidelines and cleaning and safety protocols are met. Many counties including Jefferson and Arapahoe County have extended their stay-at-home orders until May 8, while Douglas County is conforming to the new “safer at home” order. The District will continue to operate under the initial stay-at-home order until May 8. At that time District Management will reevaluate District operations.

With the reopening of businesses, the District would like to advise owners to properly flush the water lines that have been unused for a considerable time. When buildings are unoccupied for a long period of time with no water use, the water becomes stagnant and can have a funky or foul taste and smell. It is imperative for business owners to flush the building’s water lines and internal plumbing for water quality to return to normal standards. District flushing will not have an impact on privately owned water systems in this instance.

Denver Water has provided the guidelines below to safely and efficiently flush your building’s water lines:

  1. Turn on the cold water inside the building (break room sinks, drinking fountains, utility closets, restrooms, etc.) on each floor.
    • Start from the furthest point away from where water enters the building (e.g., for a building with five floors, start on the fifth floor and work your way to the first floor.) Remember to run only the cold water.
    • The cold water has been successfully flushed when you feel the water temperature go from slightly warm to cold.
  2. Flush hot water storage tanks (boiler and/or hot water tanks per manufacturer’s flushing instructions) to displace stagnant/discolored water with fresh water.
  3. Repeat step 1 using hot water.
    • The hot water has been successfully flushed when you feel the water temperature turn from warm to hot.
  4. Flush and perform preventative maintenance on point-of-use devices or systems, such as cooling towers, systems providing additional water treatment, etc., per the manufacturer’s recommendations as appliable.


If you have questions regarding the information above, you may contact the District office at 303-979-2333.