Utility: Flush pipes, businesses

As part of its commitment to keeping customers informed during the COVID-19 public health emergency, Indiana American Water is recommending that building owners and operators adopt a proactive approach to maintaining water quality in their facilities.

As many offices, schools and other buildings have largely been unoccupied during the state’s stay-at-home order, Indiana American Water is encouraging these customers to take steps that include proper flushing procedures, adjustment of hot water temperatures, and proper maintenance of building plumbing and heating/cooling systems.

“With many organizations considering reopening facilities that may have seen extended periods of inactivity that can cause lead leaching or legionella growth in indoor plumbing systems, we are encouraging them to do so in a way that minimizes potential exposure to these contaminants,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “Incorporating a few simple steps and protocols into reopening plans is essential to maintaining water quality.”

Proper flushing of plumbing systems should be performed biweekly while buildings are closed, if possible, and again in the days immediately prior to opening. The general purpose of flushing is to bring fresh water into all sections of a building.

Flushing should involve running water through all fixtures long enough to replace stagnant water. The time needed to complete this will be location-specific and may range from a few minutes for smaller buildings to more than 30 minutes for larger or more complex plumbing systems. Water quality indicators, such as temperature change or chlorine smell, may be used, where possible, as indicators that fresh water has reached all fixtures within the plumbing system.

Consistent with EPA and industry guidance, Indiana American Water recommends bringing fresh water into the building and flushing individual fixtures, including:

Toilets — flush at least twice.

Faucets/Showers — run both hot and cold water at full flow for a least two minutes. Longer times may be needed depending on location.

Other Appliances/Apparatus — flush thoroughly at full flow to bring fresh water into the system. If you have an appliance such as a refrigerator, soft drink dispenser, or ice maker that has a filter, follow manufacturer instructions to replace water filters after completion of flushing.

When performing a flush, it’s important to continually monitor the facilities to avoid damage from leaks or flooding.

Bank donates over $96,000

Community First Bank of Indiana (CFB) has announced an initiative to support every Hoosier nonprofit organization that has entrusted the bank to process their Small Business Administration (SBA), Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan. In total, CFB has donated over $96,000 to organizations in the communities they serve in central Indiana. Each donation was equal to the fee the bank earned, rounded up to the nearest $25 increment, for processing and funding each organization’s SBA PPP loan.

The PPP Loan provision of the CARES ACT was intended to assist small businesses/organizations facing challenges related to COVID-19, primarily helping them to keep workers employed.

President and CEO Robb Blume said, “We know that, even in the best of times, raising funds in the effort to assist others can be a difficult task. With the economic uncertainty created by the COVID-19 virus, we wanted to help by putting all fees earned on not-for-profit PPP loans back into the hands of those organizations, to be used for the betterment of our communities.”

Organizations supported include Kokomo Family YMCA, Bona Vista Programs, Family Service Association, Kokomo Humane Society, United Way of Howard County, Community Foundation of Howard County, VFW Post 1152, Turning Point – System of Care, Bridges Outreach, Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, Heartpointe Church, Kokomo Urban Outreach and many other deserving nonprofits.

“Community First Bank’s donation of fees from the SBA PPP loans to local nonprofits that are working to provide critical services to our community is a great opportunity to place funds right where they are most needed,” said Greg Aaron, president of the Community Foundation of Howard County.

Community First Bank was chartered in 2003 in Kokomo, Indiana, where it currently havs three branches in Kokomo, two branches in Westfield, and one branch in Noblesville. Additional information can be found at www.CFBIndiana.com.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich

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