Coronavirus / COVID-19 and Drinking Water
Over the past week, we have received a large number of calls related to the novel Coronavirus / COVID-19 and its possible impact on drinking water. In particular, people are asking if COVID-19 can be spread through the water supply, and what they should do to protect themselves.
In mid-March 2020, The World Health Organization indicated that there is no evidence that COVID-19 has been spread through drinking water. It added that the virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies and that its opinion was that the risk to water supplies was low. It also confirmed that it believed existing water treatment technologies in city water systems are able to safely address COVID-19 if it was to get into the water supply:
World Health Organization. 2020. Technical Brief. Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for the COVID-19 virus. March.
Reference number: WHO/2019-NcOV/IPC_WASH/2020.1
Fortunately, the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 has a relatively simple structure that makes it fairly easy to disinfect. Other human coronaviruses have been shown to be highly sensitive to common water disinfection processes including chlorination and ultraviolet (UV) light.
Several other leading agencies have issued similar guidance including The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, The National Association of Water Companies, the American Water Works Association and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, America’s drinking water supplies remain a safe and affordable way to access the water needed for drinking, cooking and maintaining personal hygiene during the COVID-19 outbreak.
At present, we believe that the risk of COVID-19 spreading through city water systems is low given the sensitivity of other coronaviruses to common disinfection technologies.
However, we do understand that many consumers, especially those with private water systems, are seeking options to add some extra protection “just in case.”
We recommend ultraviolet light (UV) sterilizers for this purpose. UV systems are simple to install and maintain, safe, affordable, and highly effective at disinfecting a wide range of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. They do not add any chemicals to your water or change the taste and mineral content. We have a wide range of options available from under-sink models to whole house models, to commercial systems. You can read more here: UV sterilizers.
The Association of State Drinking Water Administrators suggested that consumers look for a certified home treatment device if they are concerned about viruses and other pathogens in their drinking water supply. We offer a range of NSF-55 Class A certified UV systems for homes and businesses. The UVMax Pro Series is particularly popular and offers the most advanced home and small commercial UV sterilizers currently available.