CoViD-19 and Drinking Water

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

Advice Letter 02/2020 (PDF 156KB) Maintaining drinking water quality when reinstating water supplies after temporary closure due to the CoVid-19 outbreak. (Welsh language version (PDF 151KB))

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).

CRU capability restrictions for testing during the CoViD-19 outbreak. (PDF 61KB)

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)

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

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