Can the coronavirus disease spread through drinking water?


The outbreak of respiratory disease, called COVID-19, continues to spread around the world.

With a few of the pieces of information to wash hands to stop the disease’s transfer, it implies more than ever that the supply of clean and safe water by utilities is very important to stop the disease spreading.

During times of emergency, various questions have been asked over if COVID-19 could be transferred via wastewater and water.

Water industry bodies, institutions, and institutions have been quick to release fact sheets and guidance documents help cut through fake news and the sea of misinformation and to calm any concern.

The facts about COVID-19 and drinking water

A technical brief from the World Health Organisation (WHO) was published in early March for water and sanitation practitioners and suppliers.

There’s absolutely no evidence about the survival of the COVID-19 virus from drinking water or sewer, WHO stated, adding that the two routes of transmission are either respiratory or contact.

Like a virus, even COVID-19 is”not robust”, less secure in the environment and is far more susceptible to oxidants, such as contamination.

Traditional, centralized water therapy approaches that use”filtration and disinfection should inactivate the COVID-19 virus”, the Organisation added.

In areas where individualized therapy isn’t present,” household water treatment technology” including boiling, or using high-performing ultrafiltration or nanofiltration filters, solar irradiation, and, in non-turbid waters, UV irradiation and appropriately dosed free chlorine”, ought to be used.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remarked that the COVID-19 virus hasn’t yet been detected in drinking water.

“Drinking water is protected against coronavirus”

Meanwhile, the microbiologist Professor Gertjan Medema Ph.D. from KWR Water Research Institute confirmed that the drinking water from the Netherlands is shielded against coronavirus.

He was asked by WHO through the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus to estimate the chance of the disease spreading through water and wastewater.

He said: “drinking water utilities which produce their water from surface water resources have set up numerous disinfection barriers with the goal of removing germs, viruses, and protozoa, that can also be guarded by the Investigation of Microbial Safety of Drinking Water. Groundwater, in turn, is well shielded from the discriminated against most of the microbial contaminants, such as viruses.”

In a whitepaper, global engineering firm Stantec said that according to published research, “water treatment processes that satisfy virus removal/inactivation regulations are expected to work for coronaviruses management”.

What happens when water treatment plant operators are quarantined?

Answering the question’Imagine if workers are quarantined at home, will likely water be provided?’, the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) responded: “water utilities are well ready to manage their answer to COVID-19”.

In general water treatment plants have back up energy, are secure and need few employees to operate them and some water treatment plants could be operated remotely, the related said.

It included that water utilities to ensure that staff is able to run water supply systems and water treatment plants to ensure if one individual is to leave for any reason drinking water can still be safely and reliably provided.

However, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) stated that prospective absenteeism could”impact drinking water and wastewater system operators as well as their ability to function and maintain their systems satisfactorily, thus increasing the dangers to public health”.

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