COVID-19 and Water Quality

The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Based on current evidence, the risk to water supplies is low. You can continue to use and drink water from your tap as usual. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also encourages the public to help keep household plumbing and our water infrastructure operating properly by only flushing toilet paper. Disinfecting wipes and other items should be disposed of in the trash, not the toilet – even if they claim to be “flushable”.

Due to various shutdowns or reductions in business activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many buildings are experiencing periods of little to no water usage. As water sits unused in building plumbing systems, water quality problems can arise. Below are the Minnesota Department of Health’s recommendations:

New information is also available for noncommunity public water systems restarting their systems following closure, non-use, or low use. If you did not depressurize your system, see the new COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Noncommunity Public Water Systems. If you depressurized your system over the winter, see the Start-Up Procedure for Seasonal Public Water Systems. This information will help you resume operations safely and avoid water quality problems.

Reminder: If the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) requires you to collect your own water samples, please continue to do so. It is critical that drinking water systems continue to be able to assure their users about water quality. If you have any questions about sampling requirements or sample delivery, please contact your compliance officer. 

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