Description: Among the anxieties surrounding the uncertainties of COVID-19 is the lingering question of whether or not the virus can potentially infect drinking water.
All around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has been causing chaos, uncertainty, and anxiety. This virus is both new and highly virulent, and experts like the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have been rapidly trying to understand this unprecedented anomaly.
One question is about routes of transmission. We definitely know that the virus can be transmitted through the moisture in someone’s breath, made even worse by coughing and sneezing, which is how the virus is effectively transmitted. Thanks to interventions from global organizations and national governments, we now know about social distancing and meeting remotely, but what about other means of transmission? Can coronavirus infect a water supply, potentially spreading to thousands of people?
The Risk of COVID Infecting a Water Supply
It is known that viruses and bacteria can survive in a water supply, sometimes for weeks or even months. This means that the COVID-19 coronavirus can potentially find a home in still water, sewage, or contaminated water. Because the virus spreads through airborne respiratory moisture, experts have warned about the possible aerosolization of bodies of contaminated water leading to airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus.
On the bright side though, to date, there has been no trace of significant clusters of the novel coronavirus found in municipal drinking water or pool water. Further, epidemiologists doubt that discrete traces of the novel coronavirus pose a health risk, but caution against playing around sewage or contaminated water.
What Can Be Done About It?
For those concerned about the presence of coronavirus in their drinking water, you could obviously resort to drinking bottled water as an alternative. It’s important to remember, though, that municipal water supplies undergo rigorous filtration and contamination testing around the clock.
That’s all fine and good for those with water hookups to the municipal piping network, but what about those in rural areas or on farms or compounds whose supplies come from sources that are treated by a well water system? There’s good news: most standard treatment practices are often used to kill other, similar viruses.
Hypochlorous and paracetic acids are used for oxidation, as well as deactivation by ultraviolet irradiation and chlorine. Chlorinated water is generally assumed to be coronavirus (and other viruses) free. Experts have also cautioned that there hasn’t been enough time yet for a comprehensive study of the possible effects of coronavirus on water, but are drawing analogies to similar viruses such as SARS, which have been successfully neutralized in water by using standard water treatment techniques.
Water Testing Kit
Do you have a well system and are unsure of the risk of being exposed to coronavirus and other contaminants? Household water testing kits are available that are simple and easy to use. For a selection of test kits, visit AquaKnow. Click here to learn more.