Can the virus that causes COVID-19 spread through drinking water?
The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in untreated wastewater. Researchers do not know whether this virus can cause disease if a person is exposed to untreated wastewater or sewerage systems. There is no evidence to date that this has occurred. At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through properly designed and maintained sewerage systems is thought to be low.
Last updated June 11, 2020
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The virus that causes COVID-19 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.
There is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to people through the water in pools, hot tubs, spas, or water play areas. Proper operation and maintenance (including disinfection with chlorine and bromine) of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.
While there is ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, it is important for individuals as well as owners and operators of these facilities to take steps to ensure health and safety:
- Everyone should follow local and state guidance that may determine when and how recreational water facilities may operate.
- Individuals should continue to protect themselves and others at recreational water venues both in and out of the water—for example, by practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene.
- In addition to ensuring water safety and quality, owners and operators of community pools, hot tubs, spas, and water play areas should follow the interim guidance for businesses and employers for cleaning and disinfecting their community facilities.
Where can I find additional information about water transmission and COVID-19?
- CDC: Guidance for reducing health risks to workers handling human waste or sewage
- CDC: Healthcare professionals: Frequently asked questions and answers
- CDC: Healthy Water
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19 Control and Prevention: Solid waste and wastewater management workers and employers
- World Health Organization: Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for COVID-19.