Orange County water providers want to assure our customers that your drinking water is safe and reliable. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has no impact on the quality of your drinking water. Local and regional Orange County water districts are taking steps to ensure that service to you and your family or business will continue uninterrupted, and that your drinking water is healthy, available, and plentiful.
The majority of Orange County’s drinking water comes from three primary sources: The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, from deep groundwater wells, or is drawn from other surface water sources. Imported and well water does not contain viruses or other pathogenic organisms, and surface water receives advanced water treatment that removes all microorganisms including viruses. Drinking water is treated with chlorine before entering the water distribution system to ensure that it stays safe from the point of origin to your home or business.
Orange County water districts have state-of-the-art, certified water quality laboratories and continuously monitor water supply. Hundreds of thousands of laboratory tests are conducted each year on water taken from hundreds of sample points. Results of these tests are published for each local water district in their Annual Water Quality reports, which are mailed out to residents each year and posted on the water provider’s website. These reports ensure you that your drinking water meets or exceeds all quality standards set by both the state and federal government.
If you have other questions or concerns, you can reach out to your local water provider using contact information provided on our service area page.
Frequently Asked Questions
People depend on water every single day for basic survival needs, as well as for the successful growth and stabilization of our societies. Often, the critical role of water is illuminated in times of an emergency or disaster such as the one we are currently experiencing. Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding water and wastewater in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Is our drinking water safe?
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water supplies. Americans can continue to use and drink water from the tap with no restrictions. There is no need to boil or treat your tap water.
Are current water treatment methods sufficient?
COVID-19 responds to disinfection. Standard drinking water treatment methods that include filtration and disinfection should inactivate the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, advanced water treatment processes – like the methods used to treat Orange County water supply – removes and kills viruses, bacteria, and other harmful pathogens.
Can COVID-19 be spread through sewage systems?
Although it may be possible, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 has been spread through sewer systems, with or without wastewater treatment.
What if water or wastewater workers get sick or have to stay home?
The water supply system that Orange County depends on includes multiple layers of system and worker redundancy. Backup systems and processes are in place, and have been rigorously tested under pressure to ensure water deliveries continue – even in the event of an emergency. Additionally, water and wastewater workers have amplified personal protection efforts including taking steps to minimize exposure and practicing enhanced hygiene measures.
If the tap water is safe, why are people stocking up on bottled water?
The COVID-19 virus is transmitted person-to-person, not through tap water. While it is recommended that a two-week supply of water is kept on hand for typical emergency preparedness, the health and safety of tap water is not a concern at this time.
Where can I find the most accurate, up-to-date information?
Please Note: For the most current countywide orders, updates, and other related information please visit the Orange County Health Care Agency website. Each Orange County city has also implemented specific changes for their service area related to operations, closures, and special needs. Please visit your city’s website for more information.
- Orange County Health Care Agency
- Orange County City Websites
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Metropolitan Water District of Southern California