Straight from the Tap

Going on Vacation? Do This for the Best Quality Water When You Return


Going on vacation? We bet you’ll miss the taste of Cleveland Water. When you return there is an important step that you should take to ensure the water you love is the best possible quality: flushing your plumbing.

If you’re away from home for a few days or longer, it’s a good idea to flush your plumbing when you return. This just means turning on the cold water faucet and letting the water run for 30 seconds to two minutes or until the water coming out of your faucet feels colder. The change in temperature means the water from the main in the street has now made it through the plumbing in your house.

Why do this? When you’re not home to use your water, it sits stagnant in your pipes. If water has been sitting for an extended period of time, such as when you are on vacation, a few things can happen.

At the end of Cleveland Water’s treatment process, we add chlorine which kills germs, protects from pathogens, and makes the fresh water clean and safe to drink. We are required to ensure that very low levels of chlorine (called residuals) remain in the water to keep it safe as it travels through the distribution system to your house.

If water is left sitting for long periods of time, the chlorine residuals can dissipate. During the summer, chlorine dissipates from water more quickly due to the warmer water temperatures. And when there is no chlorine in the water, bacteria has an opportunity to grow.

In addition, stagnant water can result in corroded metals dissolving into the water. Even in as short as six hours, corroded material from plumbing may dissolve into water sitting in your home’s pipes for an extended period of time. This can result in discolored water when you return from vacation. It can especially be an issue for homes that have lead service lines, lead plumbing, or copper plumbing joined by lead solder. While tests repeatedly show our treatment techniques of controlling water’s pH and adding orthophosphate reduce lead levels in water, flushing will reduce the potential risk even further.

Water in our distribution system is constantly moving so it maintains steady chlorine levels and avoids issues caused by stagnation. By flushing the water in your home plumbing you bring in new, fresh water from our water mains, ensuring that the water coming from your faucet is the highest quality. You don’t have to waste the running water. It can be collected and used to water plants or for cleaning.

Cleveland Water takes great pride in ensuring the quality of water delivered to your house is of the highest quality. If you have any questions about the quality of your water, please call us at 216-662-2639.