The Coronavirus is now a pandemic disease stated by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Many pool associations are monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, and the impact with the world, especially to swimming pool owners.
The CDC has released guidance on COVID-19 and water transmission, including information on recreational water transmission. We encourage you to share this information with your organizations and others who may have questions about COVID-19 spreading through water.
Specifically, the CDC guidance states:
“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.”
This guidance and other water-related guidance can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html. For more information about CDC’s recommendations for proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of public pools, visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/aquatics-professionals/operating-public-swimming-pools.html.
Other questions regarding COVID-19 and Water
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.
Is the COVID-19 virus found in feces? *
- The virus that causes COVID-19 appeared in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The amount of virus released is not known. Factors may be on how long the virus is in the body, and if the virus in the stool is infectious.
- The risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the feces of an infected person is also unknown. However, based on data from previous outbreaks related to Coronavirus, the expectancy of transmission is low.
Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewerage systems? *
- So far, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through sewerage systems is low. The CDC is reviewing all data on COVID-19 transmission as information becomes available. Although transmission of COVID-19 through sewage may be possible, there is no evidence to date. This guidance will be updated as necessary as new evidence arrives.
- SARS, a similar coronavirus, has been detected in untreated sewage for up to 2 to 14 days. In the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was documented transmission associated with sewage aerosols. Standard municipal wastewater system chlorination practices may be enough to inactivate coronaviruses. The city must ensure that there is plenty of chlorine available to stop the spread of the virus. Wastewater and sewage workers should use standard practices, practice basic hygiene precautions, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as prescribed for current work tasks.
Should wastewater workers take extra precautions to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus? *
- Wastewater treatment plant operations should ensure workers follow routine practices to prevent exposure to wastewater. These include using engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE normally required for work tasks when handling untreated sewage water. There are no additional COVID-19–specific protection recommendations for employees involved in wastewater management operations, including those at wastewater treatment facilities.
Please spread the word with others who may have questions about COVID-19 spreading through water. The guidance and other water-related guidance is available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/water.html. For more information about CDC’s recommendations for proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection of public pools, visit www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/aquatics-professionals/operating-public-swimming-pools.html.
Our thoughts are with all impacted by this outbreak so far. We will continue to update you with any additional CDC guidance related to recreational water, and COVID-19 becomes available.
(*) – Source, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention