As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our lives in unprecedented ways, it’s important to know that local water supplies continue to be safe and reliable and are not impacted by the coronavirus.
Both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water and that conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, like those used in the Sacramento region, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, groundwater is not a source of COVID-19 and also undergoes chlorine treatment, so those water supplies are safe and plentiful.
Also, local water providers have affirmed water will continue to flow uninterrupted every time you turn on the tap. Their top priority is to provide clean, reliable water supplies while keeping customers and employees safe—every day but especially in an emergency like this.
It’s important to note that most local water providers have closed their in-person customer-service offices and are now assisting customers by phone and online only in order to help slow the transmission of COVID-19. Please contact your water provider for details. (If you’re not sure who provides your water, you can find out at BeWaterSmart.info.)
For information about public drinking water supplies:
- Fact Sheet from the California State Water Resources Control Board
- Frequently Asked Questions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Coronavirus and Drinking Water and Wastewater
For information about the Coronavirus:
- California Department of Public Health – COVID-19
- Center for Disease Control – COVID-19
- What to do if you become sick with COVID-19
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water, and current water treatment methods are effective in killing coronaviruses in drinking water supplies. Treatments include filtration and chlorination, which are broadly used in the Sacramento region and known to remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, groundwater is not a source of COVID-19 and also undergoes chlorine treatment.
Can local water providers continue treating and delivering water if COVID-19 spreads?
Sacramento-area water providers maintain an extensive system of reservoirs, groundwater wells, treatment plants and pipelines to deliver safe and reliable water supplies. This system provides several redundancies and allows water providers to move water when and where it’s needed to serve our community.
What are water providers doing to protect employees during this crisis?
Water providers are taking several actions, including precautions to limit exposure to the virus through telecommuting (where possible) and shift staggering so that they can maintain operational continuity and create social distancing with staff. In addition, several have closed their in-person customer service offices and moved to assisting residents through phone and email.
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.
The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is a joint powers authority representing 21 water providers serving 2 million people in the greater Sacramento region. Formed in 2001, its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources. Learn more at rwah2o.org.
For information from the WHO and CDC, please use the following links: