It’s an uncertain time, and people are becoming downright scared. Staggering statistics, ever-changing rules and plans, a general feeling of uncertainty, and worst of all, misinformation can be worrying.
That’s why we’d like to set a few things straight about drinking water. People shouldn’t be afraid to cook, clean, or drink using as much of their home’s water as they should like.
Do I Need to Worry About Contaminated Water?
To begin, we want to be very clear: there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 is transmitted through drinking water.
That merits repeating: there isn’t a single case–anywhere in the world–of a person contracting the Coronavirus from their drinking water. The only way this might even be plausible is sharing a bottle or glass with someone who already has the virus, but this means it didn’t come from the water, it came from saliva.
If you are following the CDC’s latest safety guidelines, you have nothing to fear. Traditional filtration and disinfection treatments of your municipal drinking water are enough to ensure the water in your home is safe.
What is a Boil Water Advisory, and Should I be Concerned About it?
When a utility company or government body feels that a water supply might make people sick or could be dangerous to consume, it issues a boil water advisory. During this time, people are advised to either boil their water to kill germs or use bottled water to cook, clean, and drink. This usually happens after natural disasters like hurricanes or tornadoes. It can also mean there is an issue with the city’s plumbing nor a recent change in water sources like we saw some years back in Flint, Michigan.
Again, there is no evidence that COVID-19 has been detected in drinking water supplies. If you have seen articles reference this, it is likely talking about wastewater–the byproduct of everyday water usage in tasks like bathing and cleaning.
Now, wastewater is something entirely different from your home’s drinking water. It isn’t something you’ll come in contact with unless you have a serious plumbing or sewage issue. It would also mean someone in your home has already contracted the virus. If your home’s plumbing is working properly, you won’t come in contact with wastewater–and you certainly wouldn’t drink it if you did!
Should I Get My Water Tested?
Generally speaking, getting your home’s water tested once a year is a good idea, pandemic, or no pandemic. You won’t be testing for viruses or diseases, though. As we say, municipal water has its own filtration and decontamination stages to make sure your water perfectly safe to drink. Testing your home’s water determines if your home might be adding contaminates through old plumbing fixtures, outdated water softeners, or other sources. If you feel like your home’s water tastes different or you haven’t tested it in some time, we definitely recommend having your water tested.
As we begin to transition back toward business as usual, you might notice one thing that has changed. Public water fountains and drinking fountains in stores and businesses have been turned off. This isn’t to stop people from drinking water out of concern for the quality of the water, but to stop the spread of the virus through drinkers sharing the same fountain mouth guard and touching the same surfaces.
Exercise common sense cleanliness and sanitation. If you are an essential worker or spend extended times in public, don’t rely on public water sources. Take a reusable water bottle with you and don’t share it with others.
As public places begin to open up again, it’s a good idea to continue using your water bottle and fill it from a water source that people don’t drink from directly. Water bottles or bottle-free water coolers like those available from Finken are safer and more sanitary for public use than a fountain.
And of course, keep washing your hands!