Unless you have somehow been living under a rock for the past few weeks, there’s no doubt that you’re already familiar with the global spread of the Novel Coronavirus, and the disease patients develop from it, COVID-19. With so much new information coming out so quickly, it can be hard to keep up with every development. No doubt you have also taken precautions to protect yourself and self-quarantine, but it’s natural to wonder if you could be doing even more. That’s why our experts at FP Property Restoration are here to answer the question, “can the Coronavirus be passed through sewage?”
Sewage & The Coronavirus
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the likelihood that COVID-19 can be passed through sewage systems is fairly low. However, research remains, for the time, inconclusive in this area. That means there is still a chance the Coronavirus could be passed through sewage, even though there is no evidence to suggest as much right now. Meanwhile, the virus has not been found in conventional drinking water, and there is no evidence at this time that it can be passed through pools or hot tubs. The virus has been found in feces, though for the moment, the risk of the virus being transmitted through human waste also remains unknown.
It is worth pointing out that during the 2003 SARS outbreak, there was some documented transmission tied to sewage aerosol. This bears mentioning mainly for the fact that SARS was a similar Coronavirus, and has been shown to survive in untreated sewage between 2-14 days. However, data also shows that the average municipal wastewater system chlorination process may inactivate coronaviruses, at least in cases where utilities watch the amount of free available chlorine during treatment to make sure it has not been exhausted.
Wastewater and sewage workers should, of course, continue to use best practices during this uncertain time, including keeping up with basic hygiene, wearing standard protective equipment, and following all other standard procedures. Right now, the CDC is not recommending any additional precautions for sewage workers.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself from Wastewater?
Bottom line: while it is not confirmed at this time that standard chlorinating practices are guaranteed to kill the Coronavirus, it is also not confirmed whether the virus can be transferred through sewage at all. So for now, it seems that the chances of contracting COVID-19 through sewage water are fairly low.
However, if you have had a sewage spill of backup on your property, it is still important to get it taken care of by a professional ASAP. Even if you are unlikely to contract the Coronavirus through exposure to wastewater, you could still be exposed to viral diseases including gastroenteritis and hepatitis A, as well as hookworm infection, threadworm infection, bacteria such as salmonellosis, and more. That’s why our cleaning and restoration pros at FP Property Restoration offer sewage cleanup to thoroughly get rid of “black water” and help your property recover from Category One, Two, and Three water damage. We are also proud to be able to continue providing our standard residential and commercial services, including everything from dehumidification to our special disinfecting services.
Make sure to call FP Property Restoration for all your cleaning and restoration needs. We come equipped with all the necessary protective gear, and work to restore your property to normal ASAP. Keep checking our blog for more helpful tips and tricks during this difficult period, and continue to follow the advice of the CDC: wash and sanitize your hands often, avoid contact with those outside your household, self-quarantine if you feel sick, cover coughs and sneezes, and sanitize and disinfect surfaces frequently. Remember, we are all in this together!