The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have added some helpful resources for utilities receiving questions about the relationship between COVID-19 and drinking water.
In a statement released by EPA, the agency said:
- “There is no higher priority for EPA than protecting the health and safety of Americans. EPA is providing this important information about COVID-19 as it relates to drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.
- “EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water and wastewater. COVID-19 is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection and standard treatment and disinfectant processes are expected to be effective.”
The EPA has a new Q&A available that answers the following questions:
- Is drinking tap water safe?
- Do I need to boil my drinking water?
- Is tap water safe to use for handwashing?
- What should I do If I’m concerned about my drinking water?
- Do I need to buy bottled water or store drinking water?
- What is EPA’s role in ensuring drinking water remains safe?
- Can I get COVID-19 from wastewater or sewage?
- Do wastewater treatment plants treat COVID-19?
- Will my septic system treat COVID-19?
The CDC has also added a section on water transmission and COVID-19. It begins with the question:
- Can the COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?
- The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.