Sacramento, Calif. – Local water supplies continue to be safe and reliable and are not impacted by the coronavirus. That’s the message from Sacramento-area water managers amid the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has spurred unprecedented national, state and local measures to slow the virus’ transmission.
“It’s important to know that current water treatment methods are effective in killing coronaviruses in drinking water supplies, according to information from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and that local water providers have affirmed water will continue to flow uninterrupted every time you turn on the tap,” said Jim Peifer, Executive Director of the Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents the interests of the 21 water providers who deliver water to 2 million people in the greater Sacramento region.
“There is no threat to public drinking water supplies and no need to stockpile bottled water,” Peifer added.
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.
(For information from the WHO and CDC, please use the following links: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/water-sanitation-hygiene-and-waste-management-for-covid-19 and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html)
In addition to drawing surface water from lakes and rivers, several water providers within the region also use groundwater. “Groundwater is not a source of COVID-19,” said RWA’s Rob Swartz, who is certified as a hydrogeologist. “Groundwater also undergoes chlorine disinfection, so those water supplies are safe and plentiful.”
“Clean, reliable water is essential to protecting public health, and water providers take this critical responsibility seriously—every day but especially in an emergency like this,” Peifer said. “Their top priority is to provide this vital service while keeping customers and employees safe.”
Some local water providers are now assisting customers by phone and online only or have suspended in-person visits such as Water Wise House Calls for the duration of the emergency. 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:
- 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
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.