Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Need to Know

tap water cup

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Need to Know

17:20 10 March in News

The Otay Water District is committed to delivering safe and reliable water to its customers.

Drinking water and service provided by the District are NOT affected by COVID-19. The District is closely monitoring the state and federal advisories regarding the outbreak of COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus disease. Coronavirus is known to spread from close person to person contact, like the flu.

covid update

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Drinking Water Safety
Bottled Water
Customers
Payment
Employees
Prevention
Resources

DRINKING WATER SAFETY

Coronavirus is Not Spread Through Tap Water
Currently, there is no evidence to support the survival of COVID-19 in drinking water. The flu, which is a respiratory illness, is not spread through tap water. The coronavirus, also a respiratory illness, is not any different. There is no need to purchase bottled water.

Tap Water is Continuously Tested
To ensure its quality and safety, water delivered by the District is continually monitored and tested at treatment plants and points in the distribution system.

Treatment Process
Filtration, chlorine disinfection, and other treatment processes are used to eliminate pathogenic organisms, including inactive viruses and bacteria, in the water supply.

Every year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Drinking Water set regulations that limit the amount of contaminants that may be present in drinking water. The District’s annual Consumer Confidence Report provides details on the results and other valuable information. To view the report, visit otaywater.gov/ConsumerConfidenceReport.

BOTTLED WATER

There is no need to purchase bottled water, and there are no waiting lines for tap water! High-quality tap water flows directly from the District’s water system through your tap. If you do not prefer the taste of tap water, consider using a Brita filter or place your tap water in the refrigerator to improve the taste.

CUSTOMERS

The District will close its lobby effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020 until further notice. Anyone who needs access to the building should call the District’s customer service line at (619) 670-2222 and press 0. We ask anyone with flu-like symptoms to please avoid in-person visits to the District. See below for alternative payment options.

PAYMENT

Payment can be made at the drop box located on Sweetwater Springs Blvd. before entering the District’s parking lot.

The District understands that some individuals are under financial stress due to COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the District has temporarily suspended shutting off your water and is not charging late fees until further notice. District staff will continue to read meters and generate water bills during this time, and outstanding balances for accounts will continue to accrue and be payable to the District. As a public agency, the District must continue to operate and maintain our community water services to provide safe and reliable water to our community, which are needed now more than ever.

For other payment options, including online bill payment, visit www.otaywater.gov/payment-options. For questions regarding your water bill and to discuss payment options, call 619-670-2222 or email customerservice@otaywater.gov.

EMPLOYEES

To continue providing essential, high-quality water and wastewater service to our customers, the District is taking actions to ensure that our employees stay healthy and safe by providing a safe, secure and supportive work environment. These include measures like staff cross-training, telecommuting from home, practicing social distancing like teleconferencing into meetings, and all other recommendations by the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Hand sanitizing stations have been strategically placed throughout the District’s workspace and we are asking employees to wash their hands thoroughly throughout the day. Employees are maintaining social distancing during meetings and/or only conducting meetings via telephone, email, and teleconferencing.

PREVENTION

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing.
  • If you are sick, stay home and keep your distance from others to avoid spreading the disease.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like phone screens, keyboards, doorknobs, steering wheels, etc. using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Practice other good health habits like getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing your stress, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious food.

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – prevention and treatment
www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — coronavirus and drinking water and wastewater
https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/coronavirus-and-drinking-water-and-wastewater

World Health Organization (WHO) – Q&A on coronaviruses
www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Technical Brief: March 3, 2020, WHO, Water, sanitation, hygiene and waste management for the COVID-19 virus
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331305/WHO-2019-NcOV-IPC_WASH-2020.1-eng.pdf

Article: March 9, 2020, Water Finance & Management, Water treatment practices effective against COVID-19, WHO says
www.waterfm.com/water-treatment-practices-effective-against-covid-19-who-says/?oly_enc_id=2359H3950023C7V

Press Release: March 17, 2020, Major water associations reassure public on safety of tap water during COVID-19 outbreak
https://www.awwa.org/AWWA-Articles/major-water-associations-reassure-public-on-safety-of-tap-water-during-covid-19-outbreak

speakerKNX 1070 AM Reports: March 19, 2020, Interview with Jeffrey Kightlinger of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

Water Providers Use Multiple Purification Processes to Ensure Safe Drinking Water

Regional Tap Water Rigorously Tested and Treated More Than Most Bottled Water