How does COVID-19 impact the safety of drinking water?

Lifestyle | 1 Apr |

The safety and security of Arizona’s water supplies is a top priority for the Department of Water Resources, Central Arizona Project and Arizona’s municipal water providers. They understand the concern that many are experiencing and questions about the safety of drinking water many people have during this time and are committed to being responsive to our community’s needs. 

To help alleviate concerns that the state’s water quality may somehow be affected by the COVID-19 virus, ADWR, CAP and Arizona’s municipal water providers assembled the following list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the security of drinking water.

Question: Is my local tap water supply safe in light of the global outbreak of the coronavirus?

Answer: Yes. Your tap water is safe, and you can continue to drink and use it as normal. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.” This is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that Americans continue to use, and drink tap water as they always have.

Question: What steps are Arizona water providers taking to protect our water supply?

Answer: Municipal water providers use chlorine disinfection, which is extremely effective in removing and killing pathogens and viruses, including COVID-19. 

The cities have emergency plans in place so that water and wastewater services will continue to operate as normal. These plans are always being enhanced and built upon to ensure measures are in place to address any pandemics that may arise. In addition, water providers continuously monitor and test their water throughout the treatment process and distribution system to ensure its quality and safety.

Another priority for local water providers is to protect the health and safety of their employees to ensure water services can continue without disruption. With a variety of precautions in place, staff members remain healthy which enables regular operation of treatment plants and all other necessary functions to continue without interruption. 

Question: Is my water being treated for COVID-19?

Answer: EPA’s drinking water regulations require treatment at public water systems to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses. Drinking water supplies in Arizona meet or surpass federal Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

Question: How prepared are water providers to deliver water?

Answer: Arizona water providers are prepared to deliver water under any number of emergency situations, including a pandemic. While you may wish to implement your own readiness and preparedness plan for emergency situations to support your situation, water providers will continue to keep your tap water supply safe and reliable.

Question: Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and water?

EPA: “Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.” https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater

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.” https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html

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