COVID-19 is currently running rampant and causing fear, pain and anguish in our communities. At some point in the future however, employees will return to the workplace, students will return to their classrooms and life will return to a “new normal”. When that happens, we’d like our customers to be ready for it.
Occupied or Unoccupied Commercial Buildings
Current evidence from the CDC suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for multiple days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection* is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in business or commercial settings.
While cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces are vital, you also should consider treating the HVAC units that are circulating potentially contaminated air around the building, see this recent article from Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA)
The goal right now for all businesses and commercial facilities should be to limit the survival of novel coronavirus in their environments, which will ultimately make the buildings safer for when the occupants return.
Operation and Maintenance of HVAC
There are a couple of key tools GMS can offer to our customers when it comes to your HVAC units:
- Supplemental maintenance visits to deep clean and disinfect the units and filters to eliminate organisms growing at the source and prevent them from being circulated into the air within your buildings.
- Install in-duct UV systems to disinfect air as it passes through the HVAC system and meet airstream kill rates of organisms up to 99% - For more information on the type of UV lighting GMS can offer, please click here.
Waste Water Collection and Treatment
In addition to eliminating the HVAC system as a source of viruses and bacteria, additional tools are available for dealing with the demands being placed on wastewater collection & treatment.
We’ve all been reading about the proliferation of "flushable" wipes that are being used to clean our hands, work spaces and hard surfaces. A large number of those wipes are ending up in our sewer systems and causing major problems for commercial facilities.
Lift stations are a key link in the chain of wastewater collection & treatment and a new system, already proven in Europe, has arrived in the USA. The DIP System is installed in a wet well in place of submersible pumps and is activated by floats. With the installation of a DIP System, the wastewater never leaves the pipes, which creates a clean and dry environment as opposed to an open pit which is susceptible to clogs and requires frequent cleaning and maintenance.
The system is, as our own engineer calls it, "ingenious" and shows real innovation within our industry. GMS has already installed a number of these systems on government sites and believe it will serve as another tool in the box for our customers to consider.
*For clarification, a couple of definitions from the CDC are:
- Cleaning refers to the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. But by removing the germs, it decreases their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection.
- Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.
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