Can You Get Coronavirus from Drinking Tap Water?


As coronavirus cases spread across the United States, more and more people are wondering how you can catch COVID-19. Is drinking tap water safe? Can you catch coronavirus from the water? The good news is that experts say no, you can’t get coronavirus from your water because COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Read on for more details.

The EPA,  CDC, & WHO Say Drinking Water Is Safe Because COVID-19 Is Susceptible to Disinfectants Used for Public Water

The EPA has released information specifically addressing the question of coronavirus and drinking water. The EPA notes the following:

The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.”

The EPA’s regulations require treating public water systems in a way that prevents viruses from contaminating drinking water. According to the EPA, COVID-19 is “particularly susceptible” to their disinfection standards and treatments.These findings and recommendations relate specifically to city drinking water. If you have a well, for example, then you might want to speak with an expert about filtration and disinfectant options.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also noted that COVID-19 hasn’t been detected in drinking water. “Based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” The virus is spread mostly through close contact. This also means that you don’t need to boil your drinking water as a precaution.

The EPA further notes: “EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. According to the CDC, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

The CDC notes the same: “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.”

Local Water Providers Share the Same Good News

You can also find lots of information online from your specific water provider. Here are some examples.

According to Helix Water District, coronavirus can be disinfected with ozone, chlorine, and other types of treatments used for tap water. Water providers frequently test and monitor their treatments to ensure everything is safe and running smoothly.

Colorado has also said that the state’s drinking supply is safe, Colorado Independent reported. The state’s laws require disinfectants for viruses, including chlorine bleach, peracetic acid, and inactivation via UV irradiation. Colorado issued a fact sheet about water and wastewater here.

San Jose Water also noted that they are monitoring advisories. Their water comes from groundwater from wells, surface water from reservoirs, and imported water from three treatment plants.

They noted:

According the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA), current treatment methods used by San Jose Water in our surface water treatment plants as well as purchased treated water from Valley Water are sufficient to disinfect water for contaminants, including COVID-19.  Groundwater sources would not be sources for COVID-19 and existing required testing throughout our distribution system requires a chlorine residual to ensure water is clean and safe for consumption.”

Utah has also said its water is safe and you don’t need to stock up on bottled water, Standard-Examiner reported. Marie Owens, Director of Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Drinking Water, told the Examiner: “Drinking water treatment and disinfection has effectively protected Utah’s population for many decades. These protections will safeguard residents against drinking-water-borne viral infections — including coronavirus.”

Methods already in place are enough to kill coronavirus in the tap water, the Examiner noted. Special measures aren’t needed.

CalWater also posted a notice on its website that tap water is safe. Their site reads:

Your tap water is safe from coronavirus (COVID-19), according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The safeguards we have always taken to protect water quality are effective to keep it safe from viruses, including COVID-19. We are also taking steps to keep our customers and employees safe. In addition to encouraging frequent and thorough hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding close contact with others, we are taking steps to prevent any disruption in our service. While you may be stocking up on emergency supplies in case you need to stay home, please know that you do NOT need to worry about your tap water.”

The EPA also notes that there’s no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted through sewage systems either, even without wastewater treatment. Wastewater treatment does involve treating viruses and pathogens, including COVID-19, which is susceptible to wastewater disinfection.

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