There are a lot of questions about COVID-19 floating around. Specifically, how can it be transmitted from one human to the next?
As water treatment experts, we wanted to answer some of the questions that pertain to COVID-19 and water transmission.
Can COVID-19 be 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. - From CDC
To this point, COVID-19 has not been transmitted through our public drinking water. Still, the virus can be transferred from human to human through saliva or sharing a cup of water. Make sure you use your own cups and clean them thoroughly after use.
Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. -from CDC
Again, there is not a lot of information out there yet but, to this point, the chemicals in pools and hot tubs should kill the virus. Make sure the pool or hot tub is properly maintained with the correct chemicals before risking exposure.
Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems?
CDC is reviewing all data on COVID-19 transmission as information becomes available. At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewerage systems is thought to be low. Although transmission of COVID-19 through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence to date that this has occurred. This guidance will be updated as necessary as new evidence is assessed.
SARS, a similar coronavirus, has been detected in untreated sewage for up to 2 to 14 days. In the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was documented transmission associated with sewage aerosols. Data suggest that standard municipal wastewater system chlorination practices may be sufficient to inactivate coronaviruses, as long as utilities monitor free available chlorine during treatment to ensure it has not been depleted.
Wastewater and sewage workers should use standard practices, practice basic hygiene precautions, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as prescribed for current work tasks -From CDC
Should wastewater workers take extra precautions to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus?
Wastewater treatment plant operations should ensure workers follow routine practices to prevent exposure to wastewater. These include using engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE normally required for work tasks when handling untreated wastewater. No additional COVID-19–specific protections are recommended for employees involved in wastewater management operations, including those at wastewater treatment facilities. -From CDC
How can we protect our water supply at our home or business?
At this point, there is nothing to suggest that COVID-19 is being transmitted through the public water supply. It is critical that the point-of-use be properly cleaned regularly. This included wiping down faucets, drinking water systems, coffee mugs, etc.
To ensure that any virus or bacteria in your water is killed, you can look into UV systems for your drinking water. It has been proven that UV exposure is highly effective in killing most viruses, including COVID-19, from surfaces and water.
Above all, follow the CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Wash your hands, wipe down heavily used areas, keep a safe distance from people whenever possible.