What You Should Know About Water Treatment and COVID-19

What You Should Know About Water Treatment and COVID-19

April 30, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread nationally and internationally, many people are likely to have concerns about their likelihood of infection, or ways in which the virus can be transmitted. Here are a few issues our customers in Pisgah Forest, NC should know about specifically related to water and coronavirus:

  • The virus cannot be transmitted through drinking water: At this point, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through drinking water, including municipal water systems. The virus has not been detected in any drinking water to this point. Municipal water systems make heavy use of water treatment systems that use rigorous filtration and disinfection processes, which would remove (or at the very least inactivate) the virus. You do not need to be concerned about contracting the virus through drinking water—the water from your taps is completely safe.
  • The virus cannot spread through pools or spas: There is also no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to humans through pools, spas, hot tubs, water playgrounds or other shared water sources. This is in large part due to the disinfecting agents like chlorine and bromine used in these areas to eliminate or inactivate viruses and bacteria. The reason public pools have shut down is to prevent people from transmitting the virus to each other when gathering in large numbers, not because the pools themselves pose any risk. If you have your own pool on your property, you are completely safe to use it.
  • COVID-19 has been found in sewage: Researchers have been analyzing samples from sewage systems and detecting COVID-19 particles, using this as a way to get a sense of the extent to which the virus has spread throughout a community that uses a municipal sewage system. In some studies, the particles indicate a broader spread than the “official” infection numbers resulting from positive tests would indicate. The risk of transmission of the virus through feces of an infected person is expected to be low—there has been no confirmed fecal-oral transmission. In addition, while transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewage is potentially possible, there is no evidence sewerage systems have been at the root of any COVID-19 cases.
  • Continue washing your hands: It is safe to wash your hands with tap water and soap, even if your area has a boil water advisory. But if you do not have soap and water available, you can substitute with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol by volume. Wastewater workers have been instructed to continue following routine practices to prevent exposure to wastewater. There has not been the need for any additional COVID-19 measures to protect employees from exposure.

Interested in learning more about COVID-19 and water treatment, and how municipal water systems in Pisgah Forest, NC and beyond have been affected by the spread of the virus? We encourage you to contact Royal Water Works, Inc. today with any questions. We assure you your tap water is safe to use during the pandemic.

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