Coronavirus and Drinking Water: Things You Need to Do to Protect Your Family
by Peter Lombardi
Quality Specialist, Consultant
> 4 min read
With Coronavirus affecting so many areas of life, it’s essential to know what you need to do to protect your family, which includes making sure your family’s drinking water is safe.
Thankfully in April 2020, during the first wave of the pandemic, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that Covid-19 was not detected in drinking-water supplies. Americans can continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual.
While tap water remains safe to consume, take extra precautions to ensure that your home’s water is completely free of contaminants with a home water filter. Here’s what you need to know about the Coronavirus, drinking water, and the best filter options for your household faucets.
HERE ARE OTHER QUESTIONS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE ABOUT WATER:
Can Drinking Water Spread Coronavirus?
The relationship between Coronavirus and drinking water is pretty straightforward to understand, but it’s still important to reemphasize the fact that Coronavirus is not spread through drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods use disinfection and filtration to remove or inactivate the virus causing Covid-19. These methods take place before drinking water enters your home.
Can Drinking Water Prevent Me from Getting Coronavirus?
Contracting the Coronavirus and drinking water aren’t linked in any way, and drinking water won’t prevent you from contracting the Coronavirus. However, your immune system relies on water to operate at full force, and a healthy immune system is essential to fight against viruses and infections.
"Conventional water treatment methods use disinfection and filtration to remove or inactivate the virus causing Covid-19."
How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?
Healthy adults should aim to drink a considerable amount of water every day. Women should aim to drink at least 91 oz. (11.5 cups) of water per day, while men should aim for 125 oz. (15.5 cups) of water per day.
The recommended daily intake of water for children is age-dependent, but on average, a child under 5 years old should consume at least 6-8 cups of water per day, with each cup measuring 4-5 oz. While children over the age of 6 should get 6-8 cups of water a day, with each cup measuring between 8-10 oz.
How Can I Ensure My Drinking Water is Safe?
There are usually some telltale signs if your drinking water isn’t safe for consumption. The first thing is to check to see if your water is cloudy. Potable water should be clear with no peculiar tastes or strange smells. If your water is cloudy or has an odor, it could mean there are harmful chemicals in your water supply.
The second step is to check your hands after you wash them. If your hands feel slightly slimy, there could be some unwanted metals in your water supply.
Finally, if the water coming out of your tap is discolored, it’s safe to assume it’s unsafe for consumption. If the water is yellow, there may be metals in your water supply, such as iron, lead, or copper. If the water is orange or brown, your water may contain rust from corroded pipes.
If you notice anything that might lead you to suspect your drinking water supply is unsafe, contact your local health department, or contact the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791.
How Water Filters Can Help Keep Your Water Clean
If you’ve ever looked into purchasing a water filter for your home, you may have noticed there are a few different filtration methods filters use to keep your water clean. Here are three of the most common filtration methods you’ll likely come across to help narrow these choices down.
1. Activated Carbon/Carbonization
Activated carbon removes contaminants from water by chemically bonding to the water poured into the system. Some carbon filters work well at removing contaminants from water such as chlorine, mercury, and lead. Removing these contaminants improves the taste of the water and eliminates foul-smelling odors.
Carbon filters can't remove inorganic pollutants such as fluoride, arsenic, or nitrates, so keep this in mind if your water supply contains these items.
Distillation is one of the oldest forms of water purification. Distillation works by vaporizing water by heating it to extremely high temperatures. The water vapor is then condensed back into drinkable water.
Distillation filters will remove any minerals, chemicals, and microorganisms with a high boiling point but won’t remove chlorine or other organic chemicals.
3. Reverse Osmosis
Reverse osmosis works by moving water through a semipermeable membrane. This membrane stops larger, harmful molecules from entering a water supply. Reverse osmosis filters and water treatment systems are popular choices because they remove more contaminants than most other types of water filters.
Reverse osmosis filters also consume more water than they produce, which makes them perfect for domestic use.
What Types of Water Filters are Available?
There are a few different water filters available, but four common styles are perfect for your home.
Pitchers usually contain carbon filters, which improve your water’s taste and odor by removing any contaminants. These filters are relatively inexpensive and comfortably fit in most refrigerators.
2. Under Sink Filters
Under sink filters are installed under your sink and directly attach to your water line. They do require regular maintenance and can be more expensive than other types of water filter. It is possible to install an under sink filter yourself, but call a plumber to have the filter installed professionally if you’re short on time.
3. On-Counter Filters
As the name suggests, on-counter filters are placed on a countertop and are directly attached to a faucet. It comes with a switch, which allows you to alternate between filtered and unfiltered water. On-counter filters provide a stress-free way to get purified water, with little work required.
4. Faucet-Mounted Filters
Faucet-mounted filters attach directly to your faucet. You’ll need to check compatibility before you purchase one, and each filter should come with clear installation instructions for you to follow. If the instructions are unclear or you’re unsure of what filter will fit your faucet, contact a plumber for professional help and guidance.
The Bottom Line
Thankfully, the relationship between Coronavirus and drinking water is simple to understand. The virus doesn't pass from person to person through water. Most water treatment methods inactivate the virus, causing Covid-19 before it enters your drinking water.
The most important thing to remember is that if you notice anything in your water supply that causes you alarm, contact your local health department to get your water's quality checked as soon as possible.
About the Author
Peter is a Los Angeles based water quality specialist, and works as a surveyor for businesses and communities looking to be informed and active about the quality of their water. He shares his expertise with 64 oz. to ensure everything is accurate, and to prevent the spread of misinformation about water contaminants.