Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 and Water Supply
Can the COVID-19 coronavirus get into my water?
The novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, does not present a threat to the safety of Metropolitan’s treated water supplies. Metropolitan’s multi-step treatment process includes filtration and disinfection using ozone and chlorine. This advanced process removes and kills viruses, including coronaviruses, as well as bacteria and other pathogens. Ongoing monitoring demonstrates that Metropolitan’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 Metropolitan continue treating and delivering water if COVID-19 spreads?
Metropolitan maintains an extensive system of reservoirs, water treatment plants, canals and pipelines to deliver safe and reliable water supplies to communities across Southern California. This system includes multiple layers of redundancy to ensure continued deliveries, even during a disruption. Metropolitan also maintains frequently tested plans and systems for emergency response and business continuity to guide operations, including responding to pandemic outbreaks.
To address the concerns about COVID-19, Metropolitan has taken several steps to protect the health of its employees, minimize potential exposure and avoid widespread impacts to our workforce. Metropolitan 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. Metropolitan also continues to build its already robust supply of water in storage.
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?
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