Can the COVID‐19 coronavirus get into my water?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that the novel coronavirus disease, COVID‐19, is transmitted person‐to‐person and not through water. COVID‐19 does not present a threat to the safety of the Central Coast Water Authority’s (CCWA) treated water supplies. CCWA’s multi‐step treatment process includes filtration and disinfection using chlorine. This well‐established process removes and kills viruses, including coronaviruses, as well as bacteria and other pathogens. Ongoing monitoring demonstrates that CCWA’s treated water meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards and regulations, which require removal of over 99.99% of viruses. COVID‐19 is transmitted person‐to‐person, not through water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Can CCWA continue treating and delivering water if COVID‐19 spreads?
CCWA maintains a regional water treatment plant and treated water aqueduct to deliver safe and reliable water supplies to communities in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. This water treatment and distribution system includes carefully operated, maintained and monitored by a team of highly experienced and certified operators to ensure continued deliveries. CCWA also maintains an emergency response plan and business continuity plan to guide operations through a wide range of emergency situations, including responding to pandemic outbreaks.
To address the concerns about COVID‐19, CCWA has taken several steps to protect the health of its employees, minimize potential exposure and avoid widespread impacts to our workforce. CCWA has also ensured it has the necessary backup equipment, supplies and treatment chemicals in the event of disruptions to the supply chain for these items.
So why are people stockpiling bottled water?
General emergency preparedness encourages a two‐week supply of bottled water in the event of a supply disruption. While other emergencies may necessitate backup water sources, water supplies are not a concern in this particular situation.
Where can I learn more about COVID‐19 and water?
From the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): “Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.”
From the CDC: “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.”