The weeks of confinement continue to occur and the water sector is one of those showing greater resilience against the pandemic. The water services remain fully operational and the measures taken by public and private operators allow no one to be left behind in terms of access to drinking water and sanitation.
Additionally, researchers have changed their priorities in record time. As we have been collecting in our exhaustive coverage, there are many studies that assess the presence of the virus causing COVID-19 in wastewater. In this last week we have learned that the Michigan State University water expert Joan Rose has been appointed chair of the Covid-19 Task Force for the International Water Association (IWA). The group has been tasked with learning more about the public health consequences of the novel coronavirus in the water system. "The IWA task force is a wonderful group of both early career and experienced scientists," Rose said. "The team has a strong background in virology, and I'm confident that we'll be able to make a lot of progress in the coming weeks and months."
Researchers from the Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Arizona work in the same vein. In an interview with Olivia Tempest, its director Ian Pepper stated: “Coronaviruses die very quickly in wastewater, with a 99% reduction in 2-3 days. The survival of coronaviruses in primary wastewater was only slightly longer than that of secondary wastewater, probably due to the higher level of suspended solids offering protection against inactivation. ”
Meanwhile, operators rely on the safety of their water treatment systems. In the words of Maximilian Pellegrini, CEO of Water France at SUEZ, the utility responsible for supplying water in the Paris region, Dunkirk and Valenciennes: “Tap water is safe to drink. The novel coronavirus is not resistant to the disinfection treatment carried out in our drinking water production units. The drinking water is extremely monitored. It is analyzed by the Regional Health Authorities, which guarantees it complies with all regulations. ”
Safety, health and transparency in communication must be the axes of the "new normal" for the water sector. The one that we will progressively delve into in the coming months. At Smart Water Magazine we trust in the know-how of professionals and managers and we will do our best to convey their work to a population that is more in need of reliable information than ever.