Regularly check physical, chemical and microbiological composition of water. As a result, country's water supply is not only clean and safe to drink, but also free of E. coli, according to National Water Board. What about presence of COVID-19?
According to World Health Organization, virus that causes COVID-19 has not been found in drinking water. Traditional water treatment methods using filtration and disinfection, such as those used in most municipal drinking water systems, are expected to remove or inactivate coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
In addition, there is less risk to water supply due to substances added during cleaning, such as chlorine, which kill pathogens before they reach water supply.While risk of COVID-19 infection in drinking water is low and relatively safe to consume without additional water filtration, question is, how low is this “low level”?
Different water filters perform different functions. Some improve taste of water, while others filter out harmful chemicals or bacteria. No single filter can protect drinking water from all types of contaminants, and due to price range of filters, it is critical to determine which contaminants need to be removed.
Commercial ultrafiltration filters remove contaminants as small as 0.01 microns from water, while nanofilters remove contaminants as small as 0.001 microns. Since COVID-19 is about 0.125 microns in size, these filters are able to filter out virus in drinking water.
Reverse osmosis filters have a pore size of 0.0001 microns and are very effective in removing microbes and common chemical pollutants. Although it is more expensive, it is superior to nanofiltration in filtering viruses.
COVID-19 is transmitted by touch, saliva, aerosol, and virus can be transmitted through tiny water droplets or aerosols that are released into air through evaporation or spraying.
Fortunately, most water treatment programs claim to be effective in killing or removing coronaviruses through oxidation with hypochlorous or peracetic acid, UV inactivation, and chlorine treatment.
The use of chlorine in water treatment plants removes viruses but produces harmless by-products called chloramines, which can kill microbes in water, including coronaviruses, and also remove chloramines from water prior to drinking before boiling it.
In addition, according to WHO drinking water guidelines, viruses are inactivated between 60°C and 65°C, but more slowly than bacteria. Therefore, process of heating water to a boil is sufficient to inactivate virus if it remains after chlorination process at wastewater treatment plant. Indirectly, by boiling water, taking double precaution of removing traces of chlorine and inactivating any remaining viruses in water.This may be cheapest way to keep drinking water safe during a pandemic.
However, there are a few steps to follow when boiling water.
When water boils, it should be removed from fire and allowed to cool naturally without ice and during storage without re-contamination from processing.
Our water is safe to drink thanks to rigorous purification procedures. No filtration is required, and “boiling” before drinking is cheapest way to ensure safe drinking water.