The dangers of COVID-19 are still making headline news as people try to stay healthy. Wearing masks and practicing social distancing are suggested as people try to get back to their normal lives. However, one area of concern is the effect that COVID-19 may have on our water supplies. Can the coronavirus survive in water, and do we need to worry about getting sick from drinking water?
Can Coronavirus Survive in Water?
Preliminary research shows that the COVID-19 coronavirus can survive in water for anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. However, it has not been found in quantities large enough to cause infections in humans. Viruses need to be present in certain amounts to cause illness. If the COVID-19 coronavirus infiltrates a water supply, the water would dilute it to concentrations too low to cause a risk. This means that it is safe to continue drinking water, showering, and swimming.
Coronavirus in Drinking Water
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the COVID-19 coronavirus has not been found in any drinking water supplies. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also released a statement informing the public that there is a very low risk of becoming infected through our water supplies. Both organizations believe that it is safe for people to continue drinking and using tap and bottled water as they normally would.
Impact of Quarantines on Drinking Water
Although there is a minimal risk of catching COVID-19 from drinking a glass of water or going for a swim, there is another side effect of the virus that could impact the quality and safety of our drinking water. Because of the quarantines, many businesses have been shut down for months. When an office or shop is not being used, typically, there is no water flushing through the plumbing. This can cause unsafe water conditions.
Because the pipes don’t have a regular flow of water passing through, stagnant water sits in the plumbing and storage tanks. Although the water may have been disinfected at the source, those chemicals tend to dissipate into the atmosphere over time, which can lead to the growth of potentially harmful microbes and bacteria. These organisms can continue to multiply depending on the type of water system, how long the building was closed, and the size of the building.
Now that stay at home quarantines are starting to come to an end, businesses that are reopening should be concerned about the quality of their water. Although utility companies are responsible for delivering safe drinking water, business owners are responsible for the quality of the water that is coming out of their taps to ensure that it does not pose any health risks.
How Do I Know My Water Is Safe?
It’s hard enough to get a test to see if you have the COVID-19 coronavirus, never mind trying to test your water for the virus. Based on the reports from the CDC and the EPA, there is very little risk to our water supplies. The greater concern is the potential for contaminated water at businesses that have been shuttered for the past few months.
If your business had to close, one of the best ways to protect your employees and patrons is to test the water before the building reopens. Testing can be as simple as a do-it-yourself kit or as detailed as laboratory analysis.
Do-it-yourself test kits typically use test strips that are dipped into a water sample. The test strips use chemical reagents to quickly show the presence of contaminants. Test strips are an easy, safe, and economical way to test the quality of your water. Simply follow the instructions and then compare the developed test strip to the color-coded chart to determine the levels of heavy metal in your water.
If you are looking for more precise results, you may want to use a laboratory water test kit. Typically, these kits include everything you need to gather water samples and send them to a certified lab for testing. All you need to do is fill the supplied vials with your water samples according to the testing instructions and then mail the samples to the lab. Once the lab receives your water samples, they will perform tests specifically engineered to identify the presence of contaminants.
Whether you decide to perform your water tests yourself or have your water analyzed by a certified lab, TestAssured can help you ensure that your water is safe. Our at-home test kit is an affordable option for quick results. While our lab test kits may take a little longer for your results, you’ll know exactly what in your water with our certified lab’s analysis. All of our test kits are neatly packaged with clear instructions and will provide you with important details about your water quality.