Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
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602 E. Huntington Drive, Suite B., Monrovia, CA, 91016 | (626) 443-2297

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COVID-19_FAQ

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

Dear Upper District Stakeholder:

The Board of Directors for the Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has announced that the 60th Anniversary Luncheon scheduled for April 7, 2020 has been postponed.  This comes following the latest CDC and Governor Newsom’s announcements regarding social protections and guidelines for the community due to COVID-19.  As stewards of our water supply, your health and well-being, as well as that of the broader community, are our top priority.

In addition, all Upper District scheduled community outreach booths, landscape classes, watershed events and sponsorships will be cancelled or placed on hold until further notice.  We will continue to engage the community through our social media and provide factual and positive messaging regarding the safety and quality of our local water supply.

Thank you for your interest in Upper District’s community outreach and please take every precaution to protect yourself and family.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Water Transmission and Covid 19 

There is no higher priority for EPA than protecting the health and safety of Americans. EPA is providing this important information about COVID-19 as it relates to drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public. The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.

EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water and wastewater. Coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection and standard treatment and disinfectant processes are expected to be effective. EPA is coordinating with our federal partners, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will continue to provide technical assistance and support, as appropriate.

On this page:

Is drinking tap water safe?

EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. The World Health Organization (WHO)EXIThas stated that the, “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.”1 Additionally, according to the CDC, COVID-19 is mainly thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another. Read more from the CDC about transmission of COVID-19. Further, EPA’s drinking water regulations require treatment at public water systems to remove or kill pathogens, including viruses.

1 World Health Organization. 2020. Technical Brief. Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for the COVID-19 virus. March.
Website: https://www.who.int/publications-detail/water-sanitation-hygiene-and-waste-management-for-covid-19. Reference number: WHO/2019-NcOV/IPC_WASH/2020.1

Do I need to boil my drinking water?

Boiling your water is not required as a precaution against COVID-19.

Is tap water safe to use for hand washing?

EPA recommends that Americans continue to use and drink tap water as usual. According to the CDC, washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read CDC’s handwashing guidance.

What should I do If I’m concerned about my drinking water?

WHO has stated that the, “presence of the COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking-water supplies and based on current evidence the risk to water supplies is low.”

Homeowners that receive their water from a public water utility may contact their provider to learn more about treatments being used. Treatments could include filtration and disinfectants such as chlorine that remove or kill pathogens before they reach the tap.

Homeowners with private wells who are concerned about pathogens such as viruses in drinking water may consider approaches that remove bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens, including certified home treatment devices.

Do I need to buy bottled water or store drinking water?

EPA recommends that citizens continue to use and drink tap water as usual. At this time, there are no indications that COVID-19 is in the drinking water supply or will affect the reliable supply of water.

What is EPA’s role in ensuring drinking water remains safe?

EPA has established regulations with treatment requirements for public water systems that prevent waterborne pathogens such as viruses from contaminating drinking water. These treatment requirements include filtration and disinfectants such as chlorine that remove or kill pathogens before they reach the tap. Additionally, WHO notes that, “conventional, centralized water treatment methods which utilize filtration and disinfection should inactivate COVID-19 virus.”

EPA will also continue to coordinate with our federal partners, including the CDC, and will continue to provide technical assistance and support to states, as appropriate.

Can I get COVID-19 from wastewater or sewage?

WHO has indicated that “there is no evidence to date that COVID-19 virus has been transmitted via sewerage systems, with or without wastewater treatment.”

Do wastewater treatment plants treat COVID-19?

Yes, wastewater treatment plants treat viruses and other pathogens. COVID-19 is a type of virus that is particularly susceptible to disinfection. Standard treatment and disinfectant processes at wastewater treatment plants are expected to be effective.

Will my septic system treat COVID-19?

While decentralized wastewater treatment (i.e., septic tanks) do not disinfect, EPA expects a properly managed septic system to treat COVID-19 the same way it safely manages other viruses often found in wastewater. Additionally, when properly installed, a septic system is located at a distance and location designed to avoid impacting a water supply well.