As the risk for COVID-19 continues to spread, more enhanced questioning has been applied by the general public. Some of these questions relate to everyday contact measures and the consumption of consumer goods and products. One question that has garnished some attention is the following: Can COVID-19 spread through the water supply? While most of the spread of the virus has been attributed to close contact with infected persons, there is limited evidence to support the notion of the virus being spread through tap water systems and sewers.
The CDC has been tracking some of the results from our nation’s water supply methods, stating that there is no active threat within. Water treatment facilities are taking extra precautions, whether state or federally mandated, to ensure the positive flow of our water systems and enhance the application of treatment techniques. In some treatment facilities, additional chlorine usage is being applied to ensure the killing off of any bacteria. The CDC also states that the risk of developing SARS is much greater than the risk of developing COVID-19 through tap water consumption. The main reasoning behind the SARS development is the fact that treatment facilities have failed to create the proper pH balance for water terms, letting small amounts of this contracted virus sneak through the systems. The risk of this virus also remains low, with contractions coming in at very minimal, measurable levels.
The greatest risk of symptoms or contractions of the virus is still being seen within public usage facilities. The greatest risk remains to utilize the same water that people who are infected with the virus have used. This discussion centers around hot tubs, swimming pools, and other, confined areas of water. To better assist from developing symptoms from water usage in these capacities, the CDC has informed public systems to utilize more chlorine within their treatment process. Pool and spa filtration systems work to kill 99.9% of all bacteria within the water. This percentage remains consistent with the operation amounts for existing pools and spas. The risk runs higher when people are submitting themselves to an environment that has been used by someone who is infected by the virus. The risk of obtaining the virus runs similar to interacting with the environment over one specific activity, like swimming within the same water.
Other measures have been placed to ensure our sewer systems are operating properly. One of the main risks is associated to the way people dispose of their used cleaning products and tissues. Bath tissue is the only item that should be flushed down the toilet. When people start filling their systems with disinfectant wipes and non-biodegrade materials, the water system can start to fail. When the water system is not functioning to the proper extent, the build-up of feces and other unwanted materials start to clog our sewer systems. Since feces contact and bacteria contact remains the highest potential for causing COVID-19 infection, the government and local municipalities are calling on their tenants and people to play their role in the process. If the product is not graded for degrading, do not place it within our water systems. Disposal and recycling will play a huge role to ensure that our water systems are operating to their full extent and that the water treatment is holding the proper effect to our systems.
States and territories have applied many new treatment options to their water systems. Influencing the water streams by upping the chlorine and fluoride amounts will help to limit the spread of any bacteria. The more that these systems add to the treatment process, the greater the peace of mind for the consumer. We all must play our parts to ensure the spread stops within our waterways. Taking simple steps and procuring a system that imports the proper recycling and disposal tendencies will create the proper setting for keeping our water systems both virus and bacteria-free.