In the UK, drinking water supplies are routinely disinfected as part of the treatment process, and this process removes all harmful pathogens including viruses. The coronavirus CoViD-19 is thought to spread between people who are in close contact with one another, and all evidence from the spread of the virus shows that the drinking water supply is not a route for transmission of the virus. People should continue to use tap water as normal, including for drinking, hand washing, bathing, cooking, and cleaning teeth.
The World Health Organisation have issued advice on water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management, for CoViD-19 (updated 29/07/2020).
Information for Public Supplies
Information Letter 04/2020 (PDF 113KB) Guidance on Drinking Water Supply Operations in Response to Coronavirus (CoViD-19)
Advice Letter 01/2020 (PDF 162KB) Water suppliers’ responsibilities under Section 75(2) of the Water Industry Act 1991, the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2016 (as amended) or the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2018 (Wales).
Information Letter 03/2020 (PDF 65KB) Guidance on dealing with concurrent Drinking Water Quality or Sufficiency events during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Information Letter 02/2020 (PDF 61KB) Guidance on Drinking Water Quality Legal Instruments during the COVID-19 Outbreak
Information Letter 01/2020 (PDF 175KB) Guidance on Drinking Water Supply Operations in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments
Information for Private Water Supplies
The Drinking Water Inspectorate has shared advice provided by the World Health Organisation which summarises water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management practices for CoViD-19. This information is provided for the benefit of Local Authorities and operators of private water supplies. WHO advice.(updated 29/07/2020)
There is also updated information for Local Authorities on sampling and risk assessments
Literature Review Undertaken
The DWI has undertaken a literature review of the possible risks to drinking water and sub-sequential virus transmission from SARS-CoV-2. The findings of the review are available on our Research pages