Child Care Water Quality and Extended Closures

Learn how to maintain drinking water quality during extended closures and identify start-up procedures when reopening to ensure that drinking water is safe for consumption.

When a child care facility closes for an extended period (i.e., one week to several months), the water in the building’s plumbing will become stagnant. The water may become unsafe for drinking, cleaning, cooking, or other purposes.

Stagnant water in plumbing may:

  • Support growth of bacteria, such as Legionella, or other microorganisms that can cause disease
  • Have higher levels of metals, such as lead and/or copper, from the building plumbing components

This fact sheet helps child care programs answer three important questions concerning water quality and extended closures.

  • What can we do to maintain water quality during extended closures?
  • What drinking water startup procedures should we conduct when we reopen after an extended closure?
  • Where can I find more resources on maintaining and restoring water quality?