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COVID-19 and Your Drinking Water

Your Drinking Water is Safe

Post Date:03/18/2020 9:52 AM

With rising public concerns about the potential impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Laguna Beach County Water District (District) wants to reassure customers that they can be confident that this outbreak has no impact on the quality or supply of their tap water. There is no evidence to support that COVID-19 is transmitted through drinking water.

As the District continues to closely follow developments with the virus, staff remains committed to delivering exceptional service by pairing consistent delivery of safe, reliable drinking water with outstanding customer service. As the situation continues to evolve, we are following the recommendations of public health officials and our local government to ensure we are doing all that is possible for our employees and community, while continuing to serve our customer’s needs.

As a precautionary measure, the District’s headquarters office (306 Third Street) is closed to the public through March 27, or until further notice. The closure is aligned with the Declaration of a Local Emergency by the City of Laguna Beach. Walk-in services requiring in-person visits or counter assistance have been suspended. District operations will continue with staff available to provide services and answer questions by phone at 949-494-1041 or by emailing customerservice@lbcwd.org. The District also offers a convenient way for customers to access account information online through their Customer Connect Dashboard. Our Customer Connect portal provides you with the ability to make secure online payments, access account information, and view usage information.

The District has also temporarily suspended customer shutoffs for delinquent and/or non-payment. Customers facing financial hardship can contact the District to establish payment arrangements. We hope this provides some relief for our customers who may be facing economic hardships during this time.

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through drinking water?

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.

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Reminder About California’s Drinking Water Systems
State-Required Treatment Process Removes Viruses, Including COVID-19

  • California’s comprehensive and safe drinking water standards require a multi-step treatment process that includes filtration and disinfection. This process removes and kills viruses, including coronaviruses such as COVID-19, as well as bacteria and other pathogens.

  • The State Water Board’s Division of Drinking Water establishes and enforces drinking water standards that ensure the delivery of pure, safe, and potable water. In addition to health-based water quality standards, treatment facilities must comply with stringent performance measures to ensure treatment processes are continuously operating at peak performance.

  • The treatment process must destroy at least 99.99% of viruses. The limited number that might pass through the removal process are quickly inactivated in the disinfection process, typically in less than 10 minutes. All treatment facilities for surface water sources in California are required to maintain disinfection facilities sufficient to destroy giardia cysts, which are much more resilient than viruses.

  • COVID-19 is transmitted person to person, not through water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Public water systems that utilize groundwater sources maintain protective physical measures, including soil barriers, to ensure that water sources are protected from pathogens, including viruses. In addition, most of these systems use chlorine disinfection to inactivate viruses or bacteria that might find their way into the water.

  • All public water systems in California are routinely monitored for bacteria to ensure that water delivered to customers is free of disease-causing agents. Other parameters, including temperature, pH, turbidity, chlorine residual, electrical conductivity, lead and copper, corrosion indices and disinfection byproducts, are monitored to alert operators about changing water quality conditions and avert potential problems.

  • The State Water Board works closely with local water systems to ensure the safety of water that flows through public water systems to residential customers.

 

In addition, California has established a COVID-19 website with prevention tips all Californians can take to protect themselves from COVID-19 They include staying home, washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, and cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Additional Resources

For more information and frequent updates about what California is doing to prepare for the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the