Hello, my condo warriors. It happens that sometime you might have to shut down your water supply to the entire building in an emergency. I thought it might be helpful to share with you a few tips and steps to follow in order to avoid a disaster and have to deal with a lot of unhappy residents.
No. 1 - WHO is going to be affected by the loss of water?
Depending on the type of condominium you manage, sudden water supply interruption could have serious implications. For example, in the case of mix-use condominiums that have commercial units (i.e. restaurants, coffee shops, dental/medical offices etc.) loss of water could be crucial to the nature of the business or create serious liabilities. Everyone who will be affected needs to be informed immediately, along with your occupants of the residential component. Last but not least, the best practice is to also inform first responders (local fire department) by using the non-emergency line of the situation and advise them that your community does not have the water supply system operational.
No.2 - WHAT equipment or building system will be affected by the loss of water or water pressure.
A variety of building systems depend on the water supply and are susceptible to water pressure variations. To name a few, your heating and DHW boilers, hot/cold water supply system, various types of pumps, swimming pools, steam saunas etc. Depending on the age and design of the building, certain fire suppression systems might also be affected by a drop in water pressure. This is why it is always wise when you become aware of the interruption, to have for each system specialized technicians called on-site immediately to assist with restoring all affected equipment back to operational status upon the return of the water.
No.3 - HOW we communicate during and after the emergency.
Communication is key during any type of emergency, but in this particular case, a good practice is to have your office/front desk/concierge staff trained and able to provide your residents with updates on the status of the repairs. After water supply is restored some of your residents might experience issues with devices located in their suites (i.e. toilets not flushing, dark coloured/rusty water, defective faucet cartridges etc.). Your building staff should be on hand to answer questions and provide support to affected residents.